Ireland beat Zimbabwe by five runs
Hobart: Ireland beat Zimbabwe by five runs in their pool B ODI cricket match of the ICC World Cup here today.
Ed Joyce struck an impressive hundred as Ireland posted their highest ODI total of 331 for eight against Zimbabwe in their pool B match of the ICC cricket World Cup here today.
Zimbabwe’s decision to put Ireland in after winning the toss backfired spectacularly as the European giant-killers rode on Joyce (112) and Andy Bilbirnie’s (97) lucid knocks to better their previous best of 329, made against England in 2011.
Bilbirnie was unlucky to miss out on a hundred when he was run out by Zimbabwe’s stand-in skipper Brendan Taylor in the 50th over while attempting a tough second run.
It was not the ideal start for the Irish as they lost the reliable opening pair of skipper William Porterfield (29) and Paul Stirling (10) cheaply but the team’s middle order more than made up for it.
Joyce and Bilbirnie were the star performers with their brilliant individual innings and a 138-run third-wicket partnership, which was brisk when it came to scoring but steady at the same time.
They were together on the crease for a total of 18.3 overs and laid the foundation for Ireland’s best ODI score before a late collapse prevented them from going full ballistic.
Joyce struck nine fours and three sixes during his 103-ball stay in the middle, while Bilbirnie smashed seven fours and cleared the rope four times during his 78-ball knock.
Gary Wilson’s 25-run cameo, which came off 13 balls and included three fours and a six, was another noteworthy contribution in the team total.
For Zimbabwe, Tendai Chatara and Sean Williams were the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/61 and 3/72 respectively.
Ireland: 331 for eight in 50 overs (Ed Joyce 112, Andy Balbirnie 97; Tendai Chatara 3/61).
Zimbabawe: 326 all out in 49.3 overs (Brandan Taylor 121, Sean Williams 96; Alex Cusack 4/32).