women’s T20 series: Zimbabwe beat Ireland by six wickets

First T20 international, Harare:
Ireland 101-7 (20 overs): Waldron 34, I Joyce 17; Marange 2-9
Zimbabwe 105-4 (19.2 overs): Ndiraya 32, Mugeri 31*; Murray 2-19
Zimbabwe won by six wickets

Zimbabwe earned a six-wicket win over Ireland in Harare in the opening game in their five-match T20 series.

Ireland captain Mary Waldron hit 34 with Isobel Joyce contributing 17 but their tally of 101-7 always looked under par.

Zimbabwe were cruising to victory when they reached 86-2 after 14 overs and held on to win despite a late wobble.

Ashley Ndiraya hit 32 with Chipo Mugeri was unbeaten on 31 as Zimbabwe reached the target with four balls to spare.

A combination of tight bowling by Rachel Delaney and Joyce meant the contest had a tighter finish than earlier seemed likely.

Ireland debutants Cara Murray (2-19) and Vanessa Kelada (1-27) both took wickets before Joyce’s dismissal of experienced left-hander Precious Marange gave the visitors a sniff of victory before the hosts steadied to take the win.

The teams will battle again on Saturday with the five-match series being completed on 14 February.

Saturday’s match has been brought forward three hours to an 08:00 GMT start.

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