Zimbabwean women – 178 all out in 47 over (Mary-Anne Musonda 26, Modester Mupachikwa 23, Precious Marange 20; Celeste Raack 3/34, Leah Paul 2/24, Cara Murray 2/42)
Ireland Women – 179-2 in 39 over (Gaby Lewis 96 *, Leah Paul 63, Amy Hunter 4; Tasmeen Granger 2/53)
Ireland Women won by eight wickets
There was little comfort for the Zimbabwean women as they fell in favor of the Irish women by eight wickets on Saturday’s third international day at Harare Sports Club.
The hosts won the draw again, but this time they decided to beat first, with rookies Tasmeen Granger, Audrey Mazvishaya and Nyasha Gwanzura replacing Pellagia Mujaji, Nomvelo Sibanda and Loryn Phiri.
Chiedza Dhururu and Modester Mupachikwa opened the bar again and focused on building a sound platform for the innings, playing a stable game to put 39 together.
In the 14th over, however, leg-spinner Cara Murray struck having Dhururu caught at the wicket for 16, and in her subsequent over she had Mupachikwa caught for 23, making him two wickets under for 45 runs.
Mary-Anne Musonda now joined Ashley Ndiraya in the crease and decided to take the lead, hitting the first ball she faced for four and then hitting Murray out of the attack with 14 points one overs, including three fours.
However, Laura Delany stepped onto the field and with her third ball knocked out Musonda for her aggressive 26 innings, scoring 22 balls with five fours.
In the following over Ndiraya was trapped lbw by Leah Paul for seven, and four wickets were now down to 78 in the 22nd over.
The situation got worse when Josephine Nkomo, the heroine of Thursday’s match, was caught and thrown by Paul for three, and the score was now 81 for five in the 24th over.
Loreen Tshuma joined Precious Marange and, with positive play, they added 34 together before being caught at Celeste Raake’s wicket for seven, scoring 115 for six after 29 overs.
Marange fought hard for 20 until she was captured by Raack; 126 for seven.
Gwanzura batted positively and well to score 18 before she was pitched by Raack at 147 for eight wickets.
Granger was eliminated by 20, while Audrey Mazvishaya and Esther Mbofana’s last wicket pair brought the score to 178 before Mazvishaya was beaten by Jane Maguire for eight after 47 overs, leaving Mbofana not out with eight.
Raack with three out of 34 was the most successful pitcher, while there were two wickets each for Murray and Paul, whose 10 overs cost just 24 points.
A goal of 179 didn’t put the Irish ladies under great pressure, and the starting hitters, Paul and Gaby Lewis, could afford to play solo and beat consistently, as they did.
None of the bowlers managed to break through as the pair took the team to fifty in the 14th over, and then showed more fluency to reach three figures in the 22nd.
By this time Lewis had reached his fifty out of 73 balls, and Paul, who had less of the strike, soon followed suit, taking 68 deliveries for his half-century.
The first wicket finally came when the match was almost over, scoring 145 in the 31st over, as Granger had caught Paul at the wicket for 63, scoring 83 balls.
Two overs later Granger struck again, as he had captured the newcomer, Amy Hunter, for four, to get the score of 161 for two wickets.
Lewis was at this stage in 82, and there wasn’t enough time for her to reach what was going to be a well-deserved century.
With one point left for the win she was at 95 and needed to hit a six to accomplish the feat, but she settled for a single, while her new partner Orla Prendergast had scored three.
Zimbabwean women’s bowling had generally been orderly but not threatening, with Nkomo the cheapest, bowling six overs for just 21 lanes.
The only bowler to take wickets was Granger, whose 10 overs for two wickets were expensive, however, yielding 53 points.
The women of Ireland now lead the four-game streak with two-for-one wins, and the women of Zimbabwe clearly have a lot of work to do if they want to save the streak in Monday’s final match.
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