The Zimbabwe cricket team began its One Day International (ODI) matches against Ireland in winning fashion when they triumphed by 2 wickets, in a dramatic 1st ODI encounter at Harare Sports Club today.
Edward Rainsford emerged as Zimbabweâ€™s hero after scoring Zimbabweâ€™s winning runs in a mouthwatering finaleÂ of the 1stÂ of the 3 ODIâ€™s against Ireland at Harare Sports Club.
Needing 1 run from 1 ball, Rainsford steered the hosts to a 2 wicket victory, after he hit a 6 in the last ball of an encounter that had drama written all over it.
Chasing Irelandâ€™s 200 run total, Zimbabwe made a meal of what appeared a routine run chase, with Hamilton Masakdza dismissed for a duck in the very first over.
Brendon Taylor and Tatenda Taibu however combined in a 55 run partnership before Brendon Taylor was caught off the bowling of George Dockrell having added 27 runs to the board.
Vusi Sibanda soon followed for naught while Sean Ervine fell for 22 runs.
Tatenda Taibu who had been the mainstay of Zimbabweâ€™s innings fell for 62, after he was caught at point off the bowling of Trent Johnston, with Charles Coventry run out in the 42nd over as the hosts looked to Captain Elton Chigumbura to steer them to victory.
The dismissals of Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya for 40 and 9 respectively set up a mouth watering finale.
Needing 1 run to win, Edward Rainsford hit a 6 to give the hosts a 1-nil lead in the 3 ODI series.
Rainsford who was voted Man-of-the-match took 4 wickets for 23 runs, while Graeme Cremer and Christopher Mpofu chipped in with two wickets each, in innings the hosts had restricted Ireland to only 200 runs.
Zimbabwe and Ireland again lock horns in the second ODI at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.