Ireland captain Balbirnie proud of effort in levelling series with Zimbabwe

Ireland bowl African side out for 131 to win by seven wickets

Zimbabwe batsman Sikandar Raza is run out by a combination of Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie  and wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker during the third World Cup Super league ODI at Stormont in Belfast. Photograph: Rowland White /Inpho/Presseye

Zimbabwe batsman Sikandar Raza is run out by a combination of Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie and wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker during the third World Cup Super league ODI at Stormont in Belfast. Photograph: Rowland White /Inpho/Presseye

 

Zimbabwe 131 (34 ovs) (C Ervine 57; A McBrine 3-26, J Little 3-33, S Singh 2-35) lost to Ireland 118-3 (22.2 ovs) (D/L target 118 from 32 ovs) (P Stirling 43, A Balbirnie 34) by 7 wkts.

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie declared himself proud of his players after they finished the international season in style to level the World Cup Super League series against Zimbabwe with a seven wickets win at Stormont.

After bowling out their visitors for 131 in just 34 overs, Ireland reached their rain-reduced target of 118 in the 23rd, with Andy McBrine named man-of-the-match for his three wickets and William Porterfield man-of-the-series for his 158 runs.

“After the huge disappointment of losing the first game, to come back in the second with the bat and produce an all-round display today was very satisfying,” said Balbirnie, who gave a special mention to Porterfield and his opening partner Paul Stirling.

“They saw off the new ball in all three games and that’s something we have missed in the last 18 months. William has come back into the team and looked a million dollars and gave us that solidity with Paul up top.

“It wasn’t the easiest pitch to bat on and I had to take one on the head and another on the knee [in consecutive balls from Richard Ngarava] but we have had to scrap for every point. We got that message across to the guys after the first game and I’m proud to end the season like that.”

Ireland were forced into a change after the toss when Craig Young pulled up. He was replaced by Shane Getkate, but Josh Little took the new ball and two wickets in his first three overs, including Zimbabwe opening batsman Brendan Taylor, in his 284th and final international.

Spinners Simi Singh and McBrine then ripped through the middle order – McBrine claiming the big wicket of Craig Ervine after a television review – and once the tourists’ captain had gone Zimbabwe lost their last five wickets for 32 runs.

Ireland had no fewer than three different targets as rain interrupted their innings and reduced the maximum overs, but Ireland’s only worry was if they would get the minimum of 20 in to ensure against a second no-result of the series.

Zimbabwe used every time-wasting tactic in the book but finally had to admit defeat and introduced spin in the 19th over. By then both Porterfield, caught behind for 16 and Stirling, caught at wide mid-on for 43, were back in the players’ tent but Harry Tector who has enjoyed a superb series, hit the winning runs to take his series average to 59.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.