September 18, 2021

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Zimbabwe descends to Ireland in the final ODI in the rain as the series finishes level

Zimbabwe – 131 all out in 34 over (Craig Ervine 57, Wessly Madhevere 16, Luke Jongwe 10; Andy McBrine 3/26, Josh Little 3/33, Simi Singh 2/35)

Ireland – 118-3 in 22.2 over (Paul Stirling 43, Andy Balbirnie 34, William Porterfield 16; Wellington Masakadza 1/9, Blessing Muzarabani 1/13, Richard Ngarava 1/33)

Ireland won by seven wickets (DLS method)

Zimbabwe fell to Ireland for seven wickets in a rain-hit international one-day final in Stormont on Monday as the three-game streak ended on the same level.

Rain and a damp pitch delayed the start by over an hour, reducing the game to 42 overs on each side.

Ireland won the draw and beat Zimbabwe.

Brendan Taylor, opening the innings with Regis Chakabva, scored seven points out of 12 balls, including a big lead over slips for four, before taking a big strain on a good Josh Little ball and was thrown on the center block for leave the tourists at 11 for one in the fourth over.

In his subsequent over, Little also represented Chakabva, who was pitched for five to reduce Zimbabwe to 15 for two.

Craig Ervine and Wessly Madhevere handled the situation calmly, playing and gradually opening up as they put up a partnership worth 59.

Madhevere was 16 when he tried a drive loft but was wrong to get caught in the middle for 16, with the total now 74 for three in the 16th over.

Sean Williams could not go on and, at 83, became the fourth wicket to fall when Andy McBrine knocked him out four in the 19th over.

A few balls later Ervine took a long leap from Little through the covers for four to reach her fifty with only 51 deliveries.

McBrine and Simi Singh then produced a nice bowling game, backed by tight fielding, and both Ervine and Sikandar Raza had a hard time keeping the score moving.

The result is that Ervine’s wicket, caught at McBrine’s wicket for 57, scored 65 balls with seven fours and one six.

Zimbabwe was now struggling at 99 for five in the 25th over.

It was a premature dismissal, as only three more balls were thrown, with Ryan Burl in, when the rain returned and the players had to leave the pitch.

When the game resumed, about half an hour was lost and the game was further reduced to 38 overs apart.

At 106 a brilliant stop from Andy Balbirnie caused the batters to trade in mid-court, and Raza was sold out for nine.

Burl was then thrown for five and Luke Jongwe, after hitting McBrine for two consecutive fours, was trapped lbw for 10.

Blessing Muzarabani didn’t score before passing Little, now scoring 121 for nine wickets in the 30th.

Wellington Masakadza (7 not eliminated) and Richard Ngarava (3) held out as long as they could, but ultimately Ngarava was defeated by Singh.

Zimbabwe were out for a total of just 131 runs out of 34 overs, with only Ervine and Madhevere scoring more than 10.

McBrine and Little took three wickets each, for 26 and 33 runs respectively, while Singh took two and Shane Getkate one.

Between innings there was another rain and another delay, and by the time the players finally hit the pitch, Ireland’s goal had been adjusted to 126 out of 35 overs.

William Porterfield and Paul Stirling took off cautiously, but once settled they went on the attack.

At 36 there was yet another delay due to rain, with the result that the goal was again revised to 118 from 32 over.

The batters took their partnership to 48 in the tenth over, when Porterfield (16), attempting to ramp a ball from Muzarabani, pushed him to the goalkeeper.

With Ireland at 89, Stirling missed a shot outside Ngarava and was caught by Muzarabani in the middle of the field, after scoring 43 out of 40, with two sixes and five fours.

Balbirnie started picking up the pace and the 100 went up in the next over.

He brought his team close to victory, but at 113 he chipped a ball from Masakadza to Ervine on extra cover and was out for 34.

In the ensuing over, however, Harry Tector (13 not eliminated) beat Burl by a four and a single to complete a seven-wicket win, with nearly 10 overs in reserve.

So Ireland leveled the series to one game per side.

Zimbabwe won the opening round but the second match was canceled.

Zimbabwe will now head to Scotland for three Twenty20 internationals, starting Wednesday.