Led by Sikandar Raza’s unbeaten 69 nd three-wicket hauls for Tendai Chisoro and Graeme Cremer, Zimbabwe registered a 107-run win over Ireland at the Harare Sports Club to move to the top of the Super Sixes points table of the ICC World Cup qualifiers and, in the process, gave their Net Run Rate a massive boost as well.
Chasing 212 on a difficult batting wicket, Ireland folded for 104. Ireland’s chase went off track as early as the eighth over and could never recover from thereon. By then, Chisoro and Kyle Jarvis had sent back three of their top four batsmen – William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie and Ed Joyce – back to the pavilion, with only 18 runs on the board.
The biggest partnership of Ireland’s innings came after the fall of the O’Brien brothers – Niall and Kevin. With five wickets down, Gary Wilson and Stirling steadied the chase with a 32-run stand. More importantly, the duo had managed to play out nearly 12 overs without any damage.
Once Stirling departed, the rest of the batting just fell apart, with Wilson following soon after. Cremer got into the act and ran through the tail as Ireland lost their last five wickets for only 18 runs. Barring Stirling and Wilson, none of the Irish batsmen could register double digit scores.
In the end, 211 proved too big for Ireland’s reach. Despite the defeat, they are placed fourth on the points table, but their challenge from hereon has become quite difficult.
ZIM 211/9 (50 ov) | Raza 69* , Taylor 25 | Murtagh 3/36
IRE 104 (34.2 ov) | Striling 41 | Cremer 3/18, Tendai 3/22
Result: Zimbabwe won by 107 runs