Friday 18 October 2019

Ireland withstand Zimbabwe fightback to clinch series win

Ireland's Boyd Rankin, centre, is congratulated by team-mates after taking a wicket during the second One Day International men's cricket match against Zimbabwe at Stormont in Belfast. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Ireland's Boyd Rankin, centre, is congratulated by team-mates after taking a wicket during the second One Day International men's cricket match against Zimbabwe at Stormont in Belfast. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Ireland held off a spirited Zimbabwe fightback to win their second one-day international by five runs, clinching the series in the process.

The hosts had kicked off the three-match series with a four-wicket victory at Bready on Monday and looked on course for a comfortable win at Belfast.

Having reached 242 for nine from their 50 overs, with the help of a 111-run opening partnership between James McCollum (73) and Paul Stirling (52), Ireland made quick work of Zimbabwe's top order.

Tim Murtagh, who ended the match with impressive figures of five for 21, reduced Zimbabwe to 14 for three with his first three wickets in the opening five overs of the response.

However, Craig Ervine (43) and then Sean Williams (58) helped steady the ship to belatedly lay the foundations for a chase that would ultimately run Ireland close, while Ryan Burl (53) also made a notable contribution.

With three balls remaining, Zimbabwe required only eight runs for the win, but Mark Adair finished with a dot ball, the wicket of Burl and the concession of a single to see his side over the line.

The third and final ODI will also be played at Belfast on Sunday.

Online Editors

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