September 23, 2021

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Zimbabwe defend low scoring to keep Ireland at bay in the standings

Craig Ervine scored an unbeaten 67 while Zimbabwe posted a modest total in a bid to beat Ireland by five points in Saturday’s fifth international T20.

Richard Ngarava in action for Zimbabwe PIC: @ ICC / Twitter

Zimbabwe made a change, bringing Tinashe Kamunhukamwe to Taidwanashe Marumani. After winning the draw and choosing to beat.

Kamunhukamwe didn’t stay long going to Mark Adair for 0. Regis Chakabva was trapped in the leg before the next ball and the batted card looked terrible.

Ervine walked in, but Wessly Madhevere, on her 21st birthday, looked uncomfortable and soon left for an unforgettable nine, to Josh Little.

Dion Myers then joined the captain and the two scored 57 for the fourth partnership, before Myers became Adair’s third victim, after scoring 26.

Ervine and inventive Milton Shumba then teamed up to get the Zimbabwe 125 for the loss of four from their 20 overs. Shumba scored 14.

Adair was two for 23 and Little one for 16.

Luke Jongwe landed the first wicket of Ireland’s response, explaining Kevin O’brien that he had to walk seven.

Three others fell in the powerplay, including Paul Stirling’s massive wicket, who only managed to make 19 from his willow.

This was the second highest score of the innings, with Neil Rock’s 22 at the top of the stack.

Some tight bowling kept Ireland in check towards the end, losing three wickets in their last three overs. Craig Young tried to make it interesting, taking 10 runs, of which six, in the penultimate over, beaten by Jongwe. But as in the first game of the series, Richard Ngarava defended eight points, conceding three for the Zimbabwe victory.

Jongwe took three for 29, Donald Tiripano three for 31 and Wellington Maskakadza one for 15.

While Ireland had already finished the series, Zimbabwe by winning this match means they remain in 11th place in the standings. If Ireland had won the series 4-1, they would have bypassed the tourists.

Craig Ervine was voted player of the match. Paul Stiring was tried

Teams now progress to the crucial ODI World Cup Super League Series. Before that, Zimbabwe are playing against Ireland Wolves, a game that is expected to feature Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams.

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