Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
Gary Balance’s 50 was in vain as Zimbabwe lost the second One Day International by 46 runs at Harare Sports Club leaving the series poised at one all with the decider set for Monday.
The Chevrons fizzled out at the end as Ireland restored parity.
Balance who switched allegiance from England to the country of his birth was dismissed for 52 runs off 67 balls in the 47th over and the tail-enders failed to make an impact.
Even the return of former captain Chamu Chibhabha who last played for the national team in November 2020 failed to change the script for the home side.
For the third series in a row, the Chevrons lost the second match after winning the first one, leaving themselves with everything to do in the final match.
“We just gave away too many extras when we were bowling. I think we need to minimise that and our batting we didn’t capitalise on the good starts that we had,” noted Chevrons batsman, Innocent Kaia.
Stephen Doheny who tops cored for the visitors is looking forward to the decider.
“We really looking forward to the final match. We have confidence that we can win this series, we have put up two good scores and we were unfortunate to lose the first one.”
Ireland batted first and put up a challenging 294 runs on the board thanks to half-centuries from Stephen Doheny and Harry Tector as the Zimbabwean bowlers failed to hit their lengths.
Zimbabwe started their reply in a disastrous fashion as the out-of-sorts Tadiwanashe Marumani was dismissed for a golden duck.
Chamu Chibhabha on his return to international cricket had a fluent 45 before he gave his wicket away so did opening batsman Innocent Kaia who hit a half-century.
Zimbabwe failed to build on that platform losing batters at regular intervals before Ryan Burl and Balance struck a partnership that was ended by the unfortunate run out of Burl and Zimbabwe’s hopes disappeared with his wicket.
The decider is set for Monday.