Thursday, May 30, 2024

Ireland Women beat Zimbabwe – Cricket Ireland

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Abu Dhabi, UAE – Ireland Women made it two wins from two in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier by earning a second successive victory in Abu Dhabi, this time over Zimbabwe on Monday.

A thrilling 130 run-partnership between Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis set up an imposing target of 177 for Zimbabwe to chase down. They couldn’t do so, with Ireland maintaining their perfect start courtesy of a 56-run win.

Having been put into bat at the toss, Ireland raced to 59-0 at the end of the first six over powerplay, with Lewis making Zimbabwe pay for dropping her on just five.

The 23-year-old reached her 12th half century in T20Is, moments before the pair brought up a century partnership in the 12th over, their third together and Ireland’s fifth in T20Is.

Lewis’ innings included two maximums, taking her to 16 sixes in T20I cricket – more than any other player in Irish cricket in this format. Hunter, meanwhile, reached 50 for the third time in T20Is the following over.

Their brutal combination was finally ended when Lewis was caught off the bowling of Kelis Ndhlovu. Her 69 runs came from just 47 deliveries and the stand of 130 is the second highest partnership for Ireland in T20Is.

Hunter then departed for 71 from 50 balls, with Orla Prendergast (15) – earning her 50th T20I cap for Ireland – and Rebecca Stokell (15*) seeing Ireland to 176-3 from their 20 overs.

Zimbabwe attacked from the off but seamer Ava Canning (2-13), whose first over went for eight, struck with the dismissals of Sharne Mayers and Chipo Murgeri-Tiripano inside the first six overs. That left Zimbabwe 30-2 at the end of their powerplay and Ireland still firmly on top.

Captain Mary-Ann Musonda (48) and Modester Mupachikwa (27) then offered resistance in the form of a 56-run partnership. Ireland’s bowlers plugged away, however, with Laura Delany (2-19) bowling the former before Arlene Kelly removed Kelis Ndhlovu an over later.

Cara Murray (2-24) continued her excellent recent form by accounting for Musonda and Ashley Ndiraya in the same over, while Eimear Richardson also got in on the act.

Ireland’s third game in Group B is on Wednesday, when they face Vanuatu at the Tolerance Oval. With four points on the board and two matches remaining, victory over Vanuatu could seal Ireland’s place in the semi-finals.

MATCH SUMMARY

Ireland v Zimbabwe, T20I, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — 29 April 2024

Ireland innings 176-3 (20 overs; A Hunter 71, G Lewis 69; K Ndhlovu 1-32) 
Zimbabwe innings 120-8 (20 overs; M Musonda 48; A Canning 2-13, L Delany 2-19, C Murray 2-24)

Ireland won by 56 runs

See full scorecard

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