Ballance makes debut as Zimbabwe beat Ireland

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Gary Ballance

Former England batter Gary Ballance made his Zimbabwe debut as the hosts beat Ireland by five wickets in the first T20 international at Harare Sports Club on Thursday.

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Ballance, who played 23 Tests and 16 one-day internationals for England between 2014 and 2017, signed a two-year deal to play for his native Zimbabwe after leaving Yorkshire towards the end of 2022.

The 33-year-old made 30 from 29 balls on Thursday, hitting two fours and a six, as Zimbabwe reached their target of 115 with two overs to spare.

Ireland had earlier been dismissed for 114 in 19.2 overs with top-scorer Gareth Delany (24 off 20) one of only three players to reach double figures.

The second and third T20Is take place on Saturday and Sunday respectively before the sides play three one-day internationals on January 18, 21 and 23.

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