Zimbabwe beat Ireland by six wickets in opening game of women's T20 series
|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|
|Scorecard (external site)|
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.