Murtagh magic inspires series whitewash
Ireland will approach this week's T20 international series against Zimbabwe brimful of confidence after completing a 3-0 whitewash of the tourists with a six-wicket victory in the final one-day international in Belfast.
After scrapping to come out on top in two close matches, the Boys in Green this time stormed home with 8.4 overs to spare after another Tim Murtagh-inspired bowling performance dismissed Zimbabwe for 190.
Man of the series Murtagh found an edge behind for the first wicket, removed kingpin Brendan Taylor for three and then returned to claim the last wicket for figures of 3-39.
Mark Adair, Shane Getkate and Boyd Rankin took two wickets apiece. Zimbabwe's innings was held together by Sean Williams, but the left-hander's luck ran out at the non-striker's end in the 45th over when bowler Adair deflected a drive into stumps as he was run out for 67.
As Ireland eased to 60-0, memories returned of a 10-wicket win on the same ground in 2003 when Jason Molins and Jeremy Bray got the job done without loss, but Paul Stirling's six-match sequence of half-centuries ended when he was caught behind on 32.
James McCollum made 54, William Porterfield fell one short of his 50 and Kevin O'Brien saw the side home with 35 not out, ensuring Ireland retain 11th place in the ODI rankings with their first 3-0 series win since beating Kenya in 2009.