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174/7 (20)
143/9 (20)
ZIM won by 31 runs.
Player of the match: Sikandar Raza
 
That's it from us for this game. We will be back with more World Cup cricket tomorrow - Netherlands play against Namibia first followed by a game between Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. This is Rajarshi, signing off on behalf of myself and Pradeep. See you later!
Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe captain:  We're ecstatic, to put up a performance like that, first game back in the World Cup - it just shows that we do belong here and it's a pity that it's been so long since we last played in the World Cup. (On Sikandar Raza) He's been a solid performer for us over the last few months. It's so exciting to see that he could bring that form here again. Different conditions, slightly bouncier wicket, credit to him, he played exceptionally well today. What we took from the Ireland innings was we needed to bowl slightly fuller, we thought the Irish bowled a bit too short at times, credit to Richie (Ngarava) and Bless (Muzarabani) for hitting their straps, it was difficult to hit from the length or on the up. You always know in a competition like this run rate could be a possibility at the end. Disappointing not to finish it off as quick as possible, but credit to all the guys for coming out today and putting up a performance.
Andy Balbirnie (Capain, Ireland): I don't think there's any regret if you look back, in hind sight it might look like it would've made a difference but I think we were pretty happy at the half-way stage, but when you're four down inside the powerplay, it's difficult to make a come back. Little is our strike, experience in franchise cricket is helping and he's someone we're really excited in all formats. I thought Zimbabwe bowled brilliant lengths, they took something from the first innings and hit the nail on the head, there'll be learnings from this game and make a quick turn around. Like I said, they got to swing a couple of balls, we've got to turn things around from here on.
Sikandar Raza has been adjudged the Player of the Match! Here's what he has to say: The only thing I said to Sean was, let's try and take the team as far as we both can, the only thing in my mind was bat long, as much as the team needed, best way for me to not get the emotion better out of me. I though the wicket got tougher to play in the second half, I was trying to target the back of a length, hook, pull. There's no secret to be honest, I try and channel all the success and failures in right way, try and compete the best in the world. It's there, hopefully have a light session tomorrow, the rhythm was good, try and do right things. When we qualified, the goal was take on the big teams, this victory is humbilng and exciting, looking forward to the game against West Indies in 48 hours.
Match summary:
Ireland won the toss and opted to bowl

Zimbabwe 174/7 (20 Overs)
Sikandar Raza 82(48) | Joshua Little 3/24 (4)

Ireland 143/9 (20 Overs)
Curtis Campher 27(22) | Blessing Muzarabani 3/23 (4)

Zimbabwe win by 31 runs

This was as clinical a performance as they come from the Zimbabweans! The Zimbabwe pacers never gave a prayer to the Ireland top-order as they walked out for the second innings! There was everything on offer for them, pace, bounce, movement off the wicket, and Ngarava, Chatara and Muzarabani used it to their best effect! Dangerman Paul Stirling's leg bail disappeared two balls in, Lorcan Tucker got off to a start of sorts but then he walked a few metres across his stumps and lost his poles as well, and then, Blessing Muzarabani ensured Craig Ervine got enough slip catching practice for the day, snaffling both Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector in quick succession, and with identical deliveries!

With their top-order disappearing, Curtis Campher combined with George Dockrell to resurrect the innings and the chase for the Irish. They slowly but surely started to build a partnership, playing a few fine shots and running well between the wickets. Both of them got Ireland past the 50-run mark before Sikandar Raza, the man of the hour, came on to bowl, bowled a quicker one right up there and knocked Dockrell over. Delany then joined Campher, and the duo tried to keep the chase going, but the required rate was always going to get to them, and once the two of them departed in quick succession, the game was up for Ireland. Barry McCarthy struck a few lusty blows at the end, reducing the margin of the loss, and Zimbabwe went on to register their 7th T20I win in their last 9 matches!
20
overs
143 /9 score
0
0
0
4
0
0
runs
cricket bat icon Barry McCarthy
22 (16)
cricket bat icon Josh Little *
7 (11)
cricket ball icon Richard Ngarava
2 /22
19.6 Richard Ngarava to Josh Little, IT'S ALL OVER! Zimbabwe thump Ireland in their opening game of the World Cup. Another slower one, short over the off-stump, Little looks to cut and misses out again. Zimbabwe mean business here, an innings to remember from Raza!
19.5 Richard Ngarava to Josh Little, excellent change of pace, back of a length over the stumps, Little too early to pull and misses.
19.4 Richard Ngarava to Josh Little, FOUR! SHOT! This is good late hitting from Ireland. Short on the off-stump, Little sits deep inside the crease and cuts it hard, through the cover region for a boundary.
19.3 Richard Ngarava to Josh Little, short on the outside off, Little walks long way across off-stump to ramp it but misses again.
19.2 Richard Ngarava to Josh Little, short into Little, plants his front foot across to pull but makes no connection, through to the keeper.
19.1 Richard Ngarava to Josh Little, back of a length over the off-stump, Little leans back to upper cut but misses, through to the keeper.
19
overs
139 /9 score
4lb
0
0
1
1
6
runs
cricket bat icon Barry McCarthy *
22 (16)
cricket bat icon Josh Little
3 (5)
cricket ball icon Blessing Muzarabani
3 /23
18.6 Blessing Muzarabani to Barry McCarthy, SIX! BOOM! Too late this for Ireland. Short on the outside off, McCarthy clears his front foot and DEPOSITS way over deep square-leg fence and into the stands for a huge maximum.
18.5 Blessing Muzarabani to Josh Little, length delivery, angled into Little on the pads, flicked it to deep square-leg for a single.
18.4 Blessing Muzarabani to Barry McCarthy, short delivery into McCarthy, pulled it to deep square-leg and in the gap, fielder does well to stop it near the ropes as they get just a single.
18.3 Blessing Muzarabani to Barry McCarthy, OH! Another brilliant slower one, length delivery on the fourth stump, McCarthy has another wild swing across the line and misses.
18.2 Blessing Muzarabani to Barry McCarthy, clever change of pace, length delivery on the outside off, McCarthy has a big swipe across the line too early and misses.
18.1 Blessing Muzarabani to Barry McCarthy, FOUR MORE! Back of a length into McCarthy who looks to hoick across the line too early, hits the shoulder and goes past the keeper who was wrong footed, can't get to it, runs away for another boundary.