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# Cricket
Ireland lose out by 31 runs to Zimbabwe in T20 World Cup opener
Ireland played their opener in Hobart today.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 17th 2022, 4:51 PM

IRELAND LOST  OUT by 31 runs to Zimbabwe in the opening game of their T20 World Cup campaign.

Rain during the earlier Scotland-West Indies clash at the same venue, forced the delay of the start of Ireland’s game in Hobart by over an hour.

Ireland won the the toss through Andrew Balbirnie and were rewarded for choosing to bowl as Josh Little struck with his second ball. Little also struck when re-introduced for the fifth over and this time needing six balls to force an in-road.

Ireland were well on top when Simi Singh – marking the milestone of 50 T20I caps – broke through again in the next over but Zimbabwe introduced Sikander Raza to change the course of the game, as he helped them recover from 37-3 to 137-4, with Luke Jongwe then adding a late flourish. Two sixes in Curtis Campher’s second over signalled Raza’s intent.

Little returned to keep things quiet in the following over, but Raza was soon on the attack again, hitting Adair for 10 runs in two balls in an over. Another six and four followed in the next over, bowled by Delany, and Raza had raced to a 26-ball fifty. 

After another big over, and another Raza six, Zimbabwe were 125-4 with 36 balls to come, and looking to push on towards 190. Instead, Ireland responded well as three boundary-less overs followed.

When Little claimed his third, Ryan Burl holing out to long-on on the first ball of his final over, Ireland might have hoped to run through the lower order. Instead, Jongwe’s sparky knock pushed Zimbabwe up to 174-7, with his 10-ball 20 containing three fours. Raza eventually fell, bowled by Adair to close out the innings, with his 82 the highest score for Zimbabwe in a T20 World Cup. I

reland’s reply got off to a rocky start, with Richard Ngarava and Blessing Muzarabani each taking two early wickets and Ireland were four down inside four overs. From there, George Dockrell and Campher helped Ireland rebuild, taking the score to 64-4 at the end of the ninth.

 Raza continued his excellent day with the wicket of Dockrell and Zimbabwe continued to make regular breakthroughs.  Barry McCarthy gave Ireland fans something to cheer late on, clubbing two slower balls, from Chatara and Muzarabani, into the Bellerive Oval stands.

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A last-over boundary from Little at No.11, reduced the eventual margin of victory to 31 runs. Ireland’s next T20 World Cup game will be played against Scotland on Wednesday 19 October.  

*****

Match Summary

Zimbabwe v Ireland, Game 4, T20 World Cup, Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 17 October. 

  • Zimbabwe 174-7 (20 overs; S Raza 82, W Madhevere 22; J Little 3-24)
  • Ireland 143-9 (20 overs; C Campher 27, G Dockrell 24, G Delany 24; B Muzarabani 3-23)

Zimbabwe won by 31 runs

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