About the Match
Zimbabwe has already won the ODI series against Ireland 2-0 and the third match will be held on 13th Oct at Harare; although the contest is a dead rubber, Ireland will try to earn a face-saving win against the hosts. After a humiliating series defeat against Pakistan recently, Zimbabwe did well to bounce back with a much better performance in all departments of the game. Ireland on the other hand failed to put up a convincing show with the bat and fell short with the runs; they must pull up their socks to avoid a complete whitewash here on Tuesday.
Craig Ervine’s stupendous 101 runs in the 2nd ODI helped them chase a competitive total of 269 with ease; Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza and Chibhabha played useful knocks to get their team across the finish line with 9 balls to spare. Earlier Raza’s all-rounder skills provided the edge with the bowling attack as he scalped 3 wickets giving away only 49 runs. Jongwe and Panyangara came up with a wicket each to dismiss important players like Porterfield and Kevin O’Brien.
In the first ODI, Nyumbu and Masakadza took two wickets each in an economical way while Chibhabha stifled the opposition and took a wicket too. Jongwe, Panyangara and Williams continued with their good form with the ball to provide regular breakthroughs.
Overall, their confidence is at a high presently and with the series win, the players will be motivated to convert it to a 3-0 win; if batting first, they must focus on building a strong foundation and push the scoreboard to a high total, which will give the bowlers a vantage point. Their fielding is looking good at the moment and if they are bowling first, they must try to dominate the opponent as done in the last two games.
Captain Porterfield has failed to lead from the front with the bat and must now try to make amends in the upcoming match; Stirling scored a well-made 72 off 77, which helped them get to 268 in the 2nd ODI. He got support from players like Niall O’Brien and Wilson but in the end, the bowlers failed to defend the target.
Wilson had done well in the first ODI also as he scored an unbeaten 70 off 88 but apart from Joyce in the top order, the others failed to make an impression with the bat. Andy McBrine and Dockrell took two wickets each in that game, but a total of 219 was never going to be enough against the hosts.
Overall, the bowlers are doing well with consistent wickets; players like Mooney, Murtagh, Kevin and Dockrell have been attacking in a disciplined way but they need good support from the batsmen. If the batting line-up can get its act together and build a strong total, it will be easier for them to achieve the desired results.
Although Zimbabwe has won the series, they won’t be complacent and will try to annihilate the visitors; on the other hand, Ireland is known to fight back, but we feel think that the home side will once again gather their resources well to register a series sweeping win on Tuesday