Zimbabwe claim two wickets in final two balls to secure tie against Ireland


Zimbabwe claimed two wickets in the final two balls of the match as their second one-day international against Ireland at Harare Sports Club on Sunday ended in a tie.

A requirement of 16 off 12 balls became six from the final over, but Ava Canning was run out and Jane Maguire was stumped in successive deliveries as Zimbabwe kept the three-match series alive.

Rain had reduced Ireland’s target to 203 in 43 overs, but they appeared on course for victory after openers Leah Paul (34) and Gaby Lewis (42) gave them a good start and Rebecca Stokell made 30 off 31 balls.

Arlene Kelly’s four for 35 had helped restrict the hosts to 227 for nine from their 50 overs after a first-wicket stand of 92 between Zimbabwe’s opening pair of Mary-Anne Musonda and Chiedza Dhururu.

Both openers fell in the space of six balls – Musonda’s middle stump knocked back by a Delany delivery before Dhururu skied a ball from Cara Murray – to leave Zimbabwe 92-2 after 22 overs.

Ashley Ndiraya and Kelis Ndhlovu also combined for 67, before Arlene Kelly tore into their middle-order. The Malahide seamer went on the equal her career-best ODI figures of 4-35 as the hosts went on to score 227-9 from their 50 overs. The game was also notable for her team-mate Freya Sargent, as the Clontarf spinner took a wicket on her 18th birthday, that of Tshuma.

In response, Ireland openers Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis took on the task of chasing down the Zimbabwean total and scored an 84-run opening stand. Not long after that the rain came, and we had a delay of almost 90 minutes.

Despite a reduced target of 203 off 43 overs, that delay seemed to break Ireland’s rhythm, as Amy Hunter (21), Orla Prendergast (15), and skipper Delany (8) all departed quickly, as Ireland went from 111-2 to 140-5 in the space of seven overs.

A late cameo from Rebecca Stokell (30) brought Ireland to the brink of victory, only for further wickets to fall before the game ended in a final over drama.

The sides will meet for the series decider on Tuesday morning at the same venue.



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