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Ireland beat Zimbabwe to claim series

Ireland beat Zimbabwe by 7 wickets to bag the 3-match One Day International (ODI) series 2-0 (DLS-method) in Harare.

Zimbabwe, batting first, managed 197 in 40 overs with 13 balls left before the tourists responded with 204/3 in 37.5 overs.

Zimbabwe opening batter Joylord Gumbie played a fine innings of concentration and determination to score 72 in the third one-day international at Harare Sports Club on Sunday, but too many failures by the other batters resulted in another paltry total by the home team.

Ireland had no trouble in chasing down 201 runs, with seven wickets and 13 balls in hand, and so won this match by seven wickets and the series by two victories to none, after the first game was washed out.

Zimbabwe suffered further serious losses to their personnel, as Ryan Burl was missing after suffering concussion and Richard Ngarava had a groin strain, to join Craig Ervine and Sean Williams on the injury list.

Put in to bat on losing the toss, the hosts played a patchy innings that was interrupted by rain. It began with the loss of Tinashe Kamunhukamwe when he edged a catch to second slip for one in the second over, bowled by Graham Hume.

His opening partner, Gumbie, was then joined by Takudzwanaishe Kaitano and they settled in well to share a steadying partnership for the second wicket, with Gumbie in particular showing excellent defence against fine bowling with a moving ball.

They took the score to 45 before they tried to steal a risky single for a misfield, and Kaitano was run out by Harry Tector for 13.

The third wicket fell at 54, when Innocent Kaia was beaten and trapped lbw by a good ball from Curtis Campher.

Gumbie was still playing steadily, though, and his partnership with Sikandar Raza was developing when rain came and caused a long interruption with the score at 78 for three wickets.

Some considerable time was lost, and by the time play could begin again the match had to be reduced to a 40-over contest.

Gumbie and Raza took the score to 123 in the 28th over before Raza tried to pull Campher for six, but failed to get hold of it cleanly and was caught on the leg boundary for 37, made off 33 balls.

After that the innings went into a steady decline, as first Campher bowled out the new man, Clive Madande, two balls later without addition to the score. Gumbie had a brief stand with Luke Jongwe, who scored 10, but Brandon Mavuta was out for four, and finally at 167 Gumbie himself was the eighth man out.

He was run out attempting a second run from a pull by Wellington Masakadza, having made an admirable 72 runs off 106 balls, a fine innings that unfortunately did not receive the support it deserved.

Masakadza went on to score 24 off 19 balls, but the last wicket fell to the final delivery of the 40 overs, as Tanaka Chivanga was bowled out by Hume and the total was 197. Only two of Zimbabwe’s top eight batters scored as many as 15 runs in their innings.

Hume and Campher were the best of the Irish bowlers, taking four wickets each for 34 and 37 runs respectively. The Duckworth-Lewis calculation set Ireland 201 runs to win in their 40 overs.

Blessing Muzarabani struck for Zimbabwe in his second over, as he had the visiting captain, Paul Stirling, caught at the wicket for eight by Gumbie, who was also keeping wicket in this match.

Andy Balbirnie played a steady game at first while the new man, Campher, got after the bowling, hitting some powerful strokes. They took the score to 82 in the 17th over when Campher was out for 40 off 50 balls, brilliantly caught by the diving Masakadza at midwicket off the bowling of Mavuta.

Tector now came in to join Balbirnie, and they pushed the score along steadily, and with a comparatively small target the bowlers were unable to put them under much pressure.

At 145, Tector fell for 33 off 42 balls, going for a big leg-side hit off Luke Jongwe, but only skying a catch that was well held by Raza at midwicket. Lorcan Tucker came in next, and with the steady Balbirnie paced the innings perfectly and without undue haste or risk.

However, the end came suddenly in the 38th over, when Tanaka Chivanga bowled two poor deliveries that Tucker hit to the boundary to end the match.

No Zimbabwe bowler took more than one wicket, but the best figures and most economical bowling was by Mavuta, who took the wicket of Campher for 19 runs.

Zimbabwe Cricket

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