Chevrons Edge closer To World Cup Qualification
Zimbabwe 211-9 (Raza 69*, Murtagh 3/36) beat Ireland 104 (Stirling 41, Cremer 3/18, Chisoro 3/22) by 107 runs
ZIMBABWE have earned a reputation for defending low totals in the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup Qualifier, something they did again in a 107-run triumph over Ireland at Harare Sports Club on Friday, a win which saw them shoot to the top of the table.
The Chevrons are on top of the six-team log standings with five points, the same as second-placed Scotland while West Indies are third with the four they picked up in the group stage.
Spinners, Graeme Cremer and Tendai Chisoro picked up three wickets to clean up Ireland for 104 in 34.2 overs. This was after Sikandar Raza top-scored with an unbeaten 69 runs off 83 deliveries, an innings made up of four fours and three sixes as Zimbabwe, who lost the toss and were put in to bat stuttered their way to 211 for nine in 50 overs.
That low total proved enough to defend when Chisoro picked up three vital wickets with seamer Kyle Jarvis and left-arm spinner Sean Williams joining the party, to leave the Irish limping at 54 for five. Opener Paul Stirling had the highest individual score by an Ireland batsman with 41.
Cremer said the belief is there that they can defend any score and praised the team for the brilliance they showed when they looked like they would be bowled out for less than 200 runs.
“That’s what we said when we actually came out we know that we can defend low totals, it was brilliant today, first of all, to get 211, we could have been easily bowled for 160 there, Raza was excellent again with the bat, held the innings together to get us to a respectable total,’’ Cremer said.
Zimbabweans were absolutely delighted when they ran out Paul Stirling, hesitation between him and his partner Gary Wilson had the former going down the track for a single run that was never there.
Cremer had his first wicket, getting Wilson leg before wicket for 15. The skipper soon had his second, Barry McCarthy taken by a pumped up Williams to leave the Irish on 95 for eight.
Off-spinner Raza bowled Boyd Rankin to leave Zimbabwe needing just one wicket to win and Cremer finished things off when he had Tim Murtagh caught in the deep by Solomon Mire.
Skipper Cremer took three for 18 with his leg spin while left-arm spinner Chisoro had three for 22.
Zimbabwe will now keep an eye on the clash between Scotland Ireland at Harare Sports Club on Sunday before they take on West Indies at the same venue the following day.