Hunter scores unbeaten century on 16th birthday in Ireland win

Cricket Ireland

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16-year-old Ireland star Amy Hunter became the youngest-ever centurion at international level in an eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the final One Day International of a four-game series on Monday.

Hunter scored an unbeaten 121 in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare to become the youngest player, male or female, to score a one-day international century on her 16th birthday.

She did so on the day captain Laura Delany and wicketkeeper Mary Waldron played in their respective 150th international match for Ireland across all formats.

The youngest male batter was Shahid Afridi who scored 102 against Sri Lanka aged 16 and 217 days.

The youngest woman previous to Hunter was Mithali Raj with 114 not out against Ireland aged 16 and 205 days.

The score of 121 came from 127 balls and included eight fours as Ireland powered to a 3-1 series win on Monday.

The youngster’s century helped to propel Ireland to 312/3 at the end of their 50 overs – their highest-ever ODI team score.

Gaby Lewis hit her third half-century of the series to complement Hunter’s 121 and put Ireland in their strongest-ever position.

Lewis had opened for 40 with Leah Paul before Hunter came in alongside her – Hunter and Lewis scored 104 between themselves.

Delany came on in place of Lewis and Hunter and her improved upon the previous partnership with their 142-run third-wicket, which came off just 115 balls.

Zimbabwe could not chase it down and never looked like doing so regardless of the efforts of Ashley Ndiraya and Josephine Nkomo, who posted a 96-run partnership.

The Zimbabweans gave up their first wicket in the second over after only two runs asthe form of Irish bowlers impressed.

Jane Maguire (1-24), Cara Murray (1-33) and Celeste Raack (1-24) made key breakthroughs, while Delany (2-32) and Sophie MacMahon (2-44) ensured the Zimbabwe batters found it hard to score freely.

The hosts ended their time at-bat on 227-8 as Ireland cruised to an 85-run win over them, taking the series with them.

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