Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomenewsCara Murray’s record-breaking spell sees Ireland secure Zimbabwe series win – The...

Cara Murray’s record-breaking spell sees Ireland secure Zimbabwe series win – The Irish Times

Cara Murray returned the best figures recorded by an Irish woman in a One Day International, taking six at the cost of 31 runs during Ireland’s series-clinching 81-run win over Zimbabwe in Harare.

After being bowled out for what seemed a moderate total of 180, Ireland stormed back with the ball, with Belfast-born Murray bettering her previous career-best ODI figures of 5-39.

After being sent into bat first, Ireland quickly found themselves 17-2 with both Gaby Lewis and Amy Hunter back in the pavilion, before Leah Paul (27) and Orla Prendergast (41) combined for a stabilising stand of 46.

Ireland’s middle order then collapsed, losing five wickets for the addition of just 60 runs to be 123-7 and appearing in all sorts of trouble – the Zimbabwean spinners Lindokuhle Mabhero, Loreen Tshuma, Precious Marange, and Kelis Ndhlovu doing the damage.

However, the Irish lower-order battled hard and a 31-run eighth-wicket partnership between Ava Canning and Dempsey, followed by a 21-run tenth-wicket stand from Murray and Jane Maguire, helped Ireland post a total of 180.

Needing an early breakthrough, Ireland got exactly what they were looking for, when Canning removed Mujaji (5) in the fourth over, before Arlene Kelly then forced a mistake by Dhururu as Zimbabwe were 29-2 after 13 overs. The momentum further shifted in Ireland’s favour in the 21st over when Murray removed the Zimbabwean captain Mary-Anne Musonda for 23. On a difficult batting surface, Zimbabwe soon found themselves in trouble at 74-5 after 25 overs.

Murray, aided by captain Laura Delany, finished off the Zimbabwean tail as Ireland won comfortably in the end by 81 runs – dismissing the home side in the 31st over.

The sides will move on to the five-match T20I series, which begins on Friday 26 January, starting at 11am Irish time at the same venue.

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