Ireland Women beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in ODIs on their home soil

Following Ireland ‘s triumph in the 1st One-Day International (ODI) of the 3-match series, the second ODI ended in a tie and presented hosts Zimbabwe with a chance to vie for series victory in the decisive third match at Harare Sports Club on January 23, 2024.

Ireland Women beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in ODIs on their home soil. PC: Getty
Ireland Women beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in ODIs on their home soil. PC: Getty

 

In the decider, Zimbabwe opted to bowl after winning the toss. Ireland’s batting innings began on a shaky note, losing two early wickets with only 17 runs on the board – Gaby Lewis departing for 8(5) and Amy Hunter for 1(9). The opening pair of Leah Paul and Orla Prendergast then steadied the innings, crafting a pivotal 43-run partnership before Kelis Ndhlovu claimed the prized wicket of Paul for 27(46).

As Orla Prendergast anchored one end, Ireland faced a setback with wickets falling rapidly. Captain Laura Delany fell for 12 and was followed by Rebecca Stokell (5) shortly after, leaving Ireland at 5 down for 103 in the must-win. To compound the challenge, in the subsequent over and without adding to the score, Orla departed after a resilient innings of 41 off 67 balls.

Zimbabwe consistently took wickets, preventing Ireland from establishing substantial partnerships; nevertheless, they couldn’t rein in the lower-order batters. Contributions from Arlene Kelly (11), Georgina Dempsey (16), Ava Lanning (15), Cara Murray (12*), and Jane Maguire (10) proved crucial as Ireland, recovering from a below par 6 for 103, posted a respectful 180.

The Zimbabwean trio of Loreen Tshuma (2/27), Lindokuhle Mabhero (2/31), and Precious Marange (2/35) each claimed a couple of wickets. At the same time, Nomvelo Sibanda, Michelle Mavunga, Kelis Ndhlovu, and Ashley Ndiraya contributed with a wicket each in their commendable effort to bowl Ireland out for 180 runs.

Also Read:  Gaby Lewis Fifty guides Ireland to a 10-Wicket Win over Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe had the worst possible start in their reply, losing the early wicket of Pellagia Mujaji for 5(9). Despite the setback, skipper Mary-Anne Musonda and Chiedza Dhururu built a 22-run partnership before the latter departed for 11(43). The skipper and Ashley Ndiraya initiated a fightback, but their partnership was short-lived, ending at 31 runs, as Cara Murray claimed her first wicket of the day by dismissing Mary-Anne for 23(52).

Zimbabwe found themselves at 3 for 59 in the 20th over after the skipper’s dismissal, and their innings concluded at 99 in the 30th over, marking their 5th lowest ODI total. Cara delivered a stellar performance, securing the best-ever figures for Ireland in an ODI with a historic 6/31 (6.5), recording the first-ever 6-fa. Laura Delany, Arlene Kelly, and Ava Canning also chipped in, each picking up a wicket with figures of 1/21 (7), 1/13 (4), and 1/8 (5), respectively to help Ireland register a comprehensive 81-run win.

Attention now shifts to the upcoming 5-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series as Ireland looks to maintain their winning momentum, while Zimbabwe has a bigger task to stage a turnaround.

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