Photo Courtesy: IANS

Hobart, Oct 17: All-rounder Sikandar Raza continued his glorious run in 2022 with a fantastic 82 off 48 balls while the bowlers, led by Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara and Richard Ngarava led Zimbabwe to a clinical 31-run over Ireland in a Group B first round match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Bellerive Oval on Monday

Zimbabwe, playing in their first T20 World Cup match after 2016, made a winning comeback in their return to the tournament fold. After Raza’s 82 propelled Zimbabwe to a competitive 174/7, Muzarabani (3/24), Chatara (2/22) and Ngarava (2/22) hit their lengths beautifully in their respective four overs yielding seven wickets overall to restrict Ireland to 143/9 in 20 overs.

Ngarava set the tone upfront for Zimbabwe by castling Paul Stirling on the second ball of Ireland’s chase. He returned back in the third over to take out Lorcan Tucker, who shuffled a long way and failed to make any contact with attempted heave.

Muzarabani joined the party in the next over by removing Harry Tector, who gave a healthy outer edge to first slip and three balls later, claimed Andy Balbirnie in the same fashion to reduce Ireland to 22/4 in his first over of the match.

George Dockrell (24) and Campher added 42 runs for the fifth wicket in an attempt to get Ireland back on track. But both the batters perished to Zimbabwe’s spinners in a bid to go big. While Dockrell was castled by Raza, Campher was clean bowled by Sean Williams in an attempt to slog-sweep.

Chatara entered the wickets column by taking out Gareth Delany and Simi Singh on successive deliveries to get the match firmly in Zimbabwe’s favour. Barry McCarthy and Mark Adair hit a few boundaries as Zimbabwe spilled a couple of catches, but that was all to reduce the margin of loss.

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 174/7 in 20 overs (Sikandar Raza 82; Joshua Little 3/24, Simi Singh 2/31) beat Ireland 143/9 in 20 overs (Curtis Campher 27, George Dockrell 24; Blessing Muzarabani 3/23, Tendai Chatara 2/22) by 31 runs.

Source: IANS