Ireland level ODI series with Zimbabwe as Paul and Lewis shine

Cricket Ireland

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Ireland brought their four-game One Day International series level on Thursday after a strong win over Zimbabwe, who had beaten them in the first ODI of the series – their first-ever ODI.

Ireland played a much-improved game compared to their previous match as Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis combined for a century to begin proceedings.

Zimbabwe’s target of 286 was too much for the side in their second competitive ODI as they tasted defeat in the format for the first time, losing by 80 runs.

Josephine Nkomo stood out for the hosts with an unbeaten 70 being the highlight of their batting.

Paul and Lewis gave the Irish side 135 runs before their first wicket came – Lewis was bowled out by Nkomo in the 25th over, giving the partnership a run rate of five per over.

Their performances were much better than the first test when the Irish opening partnership was much less successful, only managing 28 runs in 8.2 overs before Paul walked.

Replacement Amy Hunter was gone just moments later but Ireland did not drop a third wicket until they had passed the 200-run mark.

Paul was the fourth to fall, walking after her 95 runs from 118 balls helped the side to 219 overall with less than ten runs to go.

Ireland finished their 50 overs of batting with 286/7 to their name.

Zimbabwe could only manage to get 21 runs from their opening duo before their first batter was removed and already had five out by the end of the 25th over.

Josephine Nkomo’s 70 from 86 balls helped the side pass 200 but lacklustre numbers put up by everyone else in the squad meant it was not enough.

Captain Mary-Anne Musonda, who had scored an unbeaten ton to lead her side to victory on Tuesday, managed a measly four runs from 17 balls.

The two teams are now level in the series with two more games to go, with the final two fixtures set to be played on Saturday, October 9 and Monday, October 11.

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