Experienced Williams stepped up as Zimbabwe sees out Ireland in the 1st T20I
Garry Ballance (Source Twitter)
Sean Williams held his nerves with the bat after a dominating bowling performance as Zimbabwe won the first T20I against Ireland by 5 wickets and took 1-0 lead in three-match series.
Zimbabwe bowlers too good for the Irish
After being asked to bat first, Ireland struggled from the very beginning and could only manage 28 for the loss of three wickets in the first six overs. By the halfway mark of the innings, Zimbabwe were four down with just 45 runs on the board. In form Harry Tector was beaten by a sharp googly from Ryan Burl in the ninth over.
George Dockrell, who is known for his match turning cameos, tried to launch a counter attack but ended up losing his wicket to another googly off Burl and Irish were soon left stranded five down for 59. Tyrone Kane soon joined Curtis Campher in the middle and tried to reconstruct the innings. However, it was another instance of failure as Campher edged one to the keeper and was soon followed by Kane while trying to hit across the line.
It was the duo of Gareth Delany and Fion Hand at the end who managed to take the team’s total past 100, before getting all-out for 114. Delany top scored for the visitors with a quick 24 off 20. With the ball, Chatara and Ngarava were brilliant with the new ball. Both of them scalped a couple of wickets, with Ryan Burl later taking three in the middle overs.
Sean Williams unbeaten 34 won it for Zimbabwe
Chasing a paltry 115, Zimbabwe did not have the best of starts but the duo of Gary Ballance and Wesley Madhevere held themselves well as the hosts were 34 for 2 at the end of the powerplay. Ballance and Madhevere added 35 runs for the third wicket which was soon halted by Harry Tector, who rattled Madhevere’s stumps to send him back for 16.
Sean Williams joined Ballance and the pair needed to make sure Zimbabwe does not lose more wickets. Both the batters used their experience and kept the scoreboard moving. However, Ballance lost his wicket and departed with his side still needing a run a ball 44.
Following the wicket of Ballance, Williams smashed Campher for two boundaries in the very next over and Zimbabwe looked closer to a win. He went on to remain unbeaten on 34 with contributions from Clive Madande at the end, who scored a quick cameo to see Zimbabwe cross the line with 4 balls remaining.
Ireland: 114/10 (19.2 Overs)
Gareth Delany 24 (20), Curtis Campher 20 (20);
Tendai Chatara 2-17 (3.2), Ryan Burl 3-29 (4)
Zimbabwe: 118/5 (19.2 Overs)
Sean Williams 34* (30), Gary Ballance 30 (29);
Mark Adair 2-12 (3), Harry Tector 2-17 (4)
Zimbabwe won by 5 wickets
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