Ireland wrap-up ODI series whitewash with Zimbabwe win
James McCollum in the runs again after tourists are skittled for 190 at Stormont
William Porterfield passed 4,000 ODI runs during Ireland’s win over Zimbabwe, which secured a 3-0 series whitewash. Photograph: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Ireland 191-4 off 41.2 overs (J McCollum 54, W Porterfield 49) beat Zimbabwe 190ao off 46.5 overs (S Williams 67, T Murtagh 3-39) by six wickets.
Ireland eased to a six-wicket victory against Zimbabwe on Sunday, completing a 3-0 whitewash in their ODI Series with 52 balls to spare.
Tim Murtagh again made the early inroads, but Sean Williams proved difficult to remove, adding 71 to earlier tour scores of 104, 28 and 58. For once, a potential catch proved more valuable by being dropped, with Adair deflecting a drive from Kyle Jarvis onto the stumps to run out Williams.
A score of 190 was well below par, and Paul Stirling and McCollum took 60 out of it before the Middlesex man was caught behind for 32, missing out on a seventh consecutive 50.
McCollum’s 54 came off 69 balls, hitting six fours and one six. Only Andrew Balbirnie of the batsmen missed out, and there were useful runs from William Porterfield (49) in his last innings before the Lord’s Test, and Kevin O’Brien (35no).
Porterfield passed 4,000 ODI runs and afterwards praised his team because they “went in hard” after the early breakthroughs and refused to allow Zimbabwe back into the game.
Murtagh’s nine wickets won him the man-of-the-series award.
This was Ireland’s last 50-over game this year, as the focus switches to the shortest format with a series starting on Wednesday against Zimbabwe, followed by the Euro T20 Slam and the World T20 qualifiers in October.
The one break from the diet of T20 is the Test match at Lord’s starting July 24th and several players have clinched their golden ticket on the back of their performances in this series.
Tucker’s consistent batting means he will vie with Gary Wilson for the gloves, while the X-factor supplied by Adair will see him in line for a Test debut. The other uncapped player expected to be in the squad named on Monday is Craig Young, who has returned to form with North Down and the Ireland Wolves after a lean spell.
The squad of 14 is expected to feature Porterfield, Andrew McBrine, Boyd Rankin, Stuart Thompson and Young (all North-West Warriors) Adair, McCollum and Wilson (all Northern Knights), Balbirnie, O’Brien, Simi Singh and Tucker (all Leinster Lightning), and Murtagh and Stirling (both Middlesex).