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|Mark Richard Adair||3||5||0||0||60.00|
|Mark Richard Adair||10.0||0||52||0||5.20|
After getting a consolation win in a disappointing tour of Netherlands, Zimbabwe continued to go downhill as far as their performance is concerned. The change of venue or the opponents didn't help them as they lost the first ODI of their Irish tour. Since it is a short series, of only three matches, the second match will be of significant importance. The two teams are set to lock horns for the second match on 4th July at Stormont Cricket Ground, Belfast. Considering the lack of experience of playing at Irish soil, Zimbabwe did reasonably well in the first ODI. Having said that, they'd have to fare a lot better in the second match of the series so as to bounce back.
After a disappointing home series against Afghanistan in February this year, Ireland started their campaign in this series on a bright note. While Zimbabwe did well in pieces, Ireland never appeared to be behind the 8-ball in the contest.
Bowling first on a reasonably good surface, Ireland got off to an excellent start, getting Tinashe Kamunhukamwe for naught. The combination of Tim Murtagh and Mark Adair reaped fantastic rewards as the former kept things tight while the latter kept chipping away with the wickets. Shane Getkate, who was introduced first change, was instrumental in keeping Zimbabwe in check as he picked up crucial wickets of Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor.
Even though Ireland started rather slowly, scoring just 28 in the first nine overs, they negotiated the new ball rather convincingly. The pair of Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie then capitalized on the start as they both went on to score a fifty and a hundred respectively. They stumbled a bit towards the end, but notable little cameos from Lorcan Tucker, Shane Getkate, and Mark Adair helped them to cruise across the total with nine balls to spare.
PR Stirling, James McCollum, Andy Balbirnie, WTS Porterfield, Kevin O'Brien, Lorcan Tucker, Shane Getkate, Mark Richard Adair, Andy McBrine, TJ Murtagh, WB Rankin.
Zimbabwe once again failed to capitalize on the experience of their middle order as more than a couple of their batsmen failed to get going despite getting starts. Apart from Ryan Burl and Craig Ervine, as many as five of their batsmen got into double figures, but none of them could convert into a big knock.
Craig Ervine was a lone warrior for them as he scored 105 off 117 deliveries to carry them to a respectable total of 254. It was a commendable effort from Ryan Burl towards the end of their innings as he smashed 49 off 42 balls and made a massive difference to their total, even though it all went in vain.
Defending a total of 254 wasn't impossible and their opening bowlers, Kyle Jarvis, and Tendai Chatara, got them off to a reasonably good start. They both picked up five wickets between them for 79 runs, but no contribution whatsoever from any other bowler allowed the hosts to claw back into the business. The lack of input from all the players in both the departments has been lacking for them since their series against Netherlands, and they'd need more effort from the rest of the players to make a mark. They are a better-experienced team, and if they can step up as a team, it won't be surprising if they end up winning the series, not alone getting back into the contention.
Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, BRM Taylor, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Richmond Mutumbami.
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While Ireland's win over Zimbabwe in the first ODI answered plenty of questions for the hosts, it brought about an altogether new array of problems for the visitors. Zimbabwean batting has fired all throughout their tour of Netherlands and Ireland, but in bits and pieces and the same has been the case with their bowlers. Ireland, on the other hand, looked more convincing in their approach and will once again have the advantage of playing at home in the next fixture. With an opportunity to win the series and to carry on with the momentum earned from the first match, Ireland are firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture as well.
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