Ireland levels ODI series with Zimbabwe as Paul and Lewis shine

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

Ireland played a much better game compared to their previous match, as Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis combined for a century to start the proceedings.

Zimbabwe’s goal of 286 was too much for the team 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 undefeated 70 being the highlight of her hitting.

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

His performances were much better than the first round when the Irish opening partnership was far less successful, he only managed 28 runs in 8.2 overs before Paul walked.

Replacement Amy Hunter was gone moments later, but Ireland didn’t drop a third wicket until they passed the 200-run mark.

Paul was the fourth to fall, walking after his 95 118-ball runs helped the team to 219 overall with fewer than ten runs to play.

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

Zimbabwe could only get 21 runs from their starting duo before their lead hitter was eliminated and they already had five outs by the end of the 25th.

Josephine Nkomo’s 86-ball 70s helped the team pass 200, but the mediocre numbers contributed by everyone else on the team meant it wasn’t enough.

Captain Mary-Anne Musonda, who had scored an undefeated ton to lead her team to victory on Tuesday, had just four runs on 17 balls.

The two teams are now tied in the series with two more games to go, and the last two games will be played on Saturday, October 9 and Monday, October 11.

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