Record-breaker Amy Hunter powers Ireland to a massive victory over Zimbabwe in the 1st T20I. The Zimbabwe women led by skipper Mary-Anne Musonda are hosting Ireland led by skipper Laura Delany for a white-ball series that includes a three-match ODI series followed by a five-match T20I series. The series commenced on 18th January 2024 and will conclude on 2nd February 2024. Ireland clinched the three-match ODI series by a 2-0 margin.
The caravan now moves on to the five-match T20I series. The Ireland skipper Laura Delany won the toss and opted to bat first in the 1st T20I. The Ireland openers Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis got off to a flying start as they stitched a massive 138-run opening partnership, their highest-ever stand for any wicket in the T20I format scoring over 8 runs an over. Nyasha Gwanzura picked up the wicket of Gaby Lewis to provide the much-needed breakthrough for Zimbabwe in the 16th over of the innings. She departed for a well-made half-century (56 off 39 balls) before getting dismissed.
Orla Prendergast joined wicket-keeper batter Amy Hunter at the crease and the duo stitched a 28-run partnership for the 2nd wicket before Kudzai Chigora cleaned up Orla Prendergast to provide the 2nd breakthrough for the home side. The visitors, Ireland eventually ended up with a total of 191/3, in their quota of overs. It is their third-highest total in the T20I and the highest-ever total posted against Zimbabwe Women in the T20I format.
Wicket-keeper batter Amy Hunter smashed her maiden T20I century and was also the top performer (101 off 66 balls) with the bat alongside Gaby Lewis (56 off 39 balls) for Ireland. At 18 years and 107 days, she became the third youngest player to score a century in a T20I format. Kudzai Chigora (4-0-46-2) and Nomvelo Sibanda (4-0-23-0) were the top performers with the ball for Zimbabwe.
Chasing a target of 192, the Zimbabwe openers got off to a promising start, scoring over 6 runs an over before Alana Dalzell cleaned up Kelis Ndhlovu to provide the first breakthrough for Ireland inside the powerplay. Pellagia Mujaji joined skipper Mary-Anne Musonda at the crease and soon found her way back to the pavilion. Alana Dalzell picked up her 2nd wicket of the day to provide the breakthrough for her side.
Wicket-keeper batter Chiedza Dhururu joined skipper Mary-Anne Musonda at the crease and the duo stitched a crucial 46-run partnership for the third wicket before Georgina Dempsey picked up the massive wicket of the opposition skipper Mary-Anne Musonda to provide the 3rd breakthrough for Ireland. The home side lost a couple of wickets in quick succession and found themselves at 109/5 in the 18th over of the run chase.
Zimbabwe was eventually restricted to 134/5 in their quota of overs and as a result, fell 57 runs short of the target. Skipper Mary-Anne Musonda (46 off 42 balls), wicket-keeper batter Chiedza Dhururu (22 off 28 balls), and Kelis Ndhlovu (20 off 16 balls) were the top performers with the bat for Zimbabwe. Alana Dalzell (2/20) and Georgina Dempsey (2/25) were the top performers with the ball for Ireland.
The opening, wicket-keeper batter Amy Hunter was awarded the Player of the Match for her exceptional performance (101 off 66 balls) with the bat, playing a crucial role in helping her side seal a comprehensive victory over Zimbabwe. The 18-year-old wicket-keeper batter from Ireland created history as she became the youngest international cricketer to make centuries in both ODI and T20I formats. Ireland led by skipper Laura Delany went 1-0 up in the five-match T20I series.