Zimbabwe Women win their first ODI despite Laura Delany’s heroics
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HARARE (Cricket news) Ireland captain Laura Delany hit her highest score in One-Day Internationals still Zimbabwe came out on top by winning the match by four wickets in the first match of the four-match series.
The match was significant for several reasons: it was Zimbabwe Women’s first official One-Day International in their history, it was Ireland Women’s first competitive ODI in over three years, and head coach Ed Joyce handed out four debuts– Orla Prendergast, Amy Hunter, Georgina Dempsey and Celeste Raack.
After Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bowl first, Leah Paul (13), Gaby Lewis (24) and Rebecca Stokell (22) batted patiently and set a nice foundation for the visitors, it was the 76-run partnership for fourth wicket partnership between Delany and Shauna Kavanagh (31) that helped the run rate and put Ireland in control.
Delany was the chief aggressor, bringing up her maiden ODI half-century off 51 deliveries, eventually succumbing on 88 from 81 balls, in the 47th over – this was Delany’s highest score in ODI cricket and the sixth-highest individual score for Ireland Women in ODI’s.
Sophie MacMahon hit out in the latter overs, smashing 29 runs off just 13 balls – including four boundaries, and Ireland went into the break with 253-8 from their 50 overs, this is the third highest team score for Ireland Women in ODI cricket.
Following her batting display, McMahon removed Zimbabwean opener Chiedza Dhururu for 4, which was followed soon after by a run out by Georgina Dempsey off her own bowling. At 25-2, Ireland sensed a chance for a victory, but a 57-run stand between Ashley Ndiraya (24) and Zimbabwe skipper Musonda shifted the dynamics of the match slightly back towards the home side.
Musonda grew in confidence as her innings progressed as she struck nine boundaries and turned the strike over regularly. She eventually brought up a well-deserved century from 110 balls and became Zimbabwe Women’s first-ever centurion in ODI cricket.
Zimbabwe chased the target with 31 balls to spare, finishing on 254-6 and taking a 1-0 over Ireland in the four-match series. The two sides return to the same venue and play Game Two on Thursday.
Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women, 1st ODI, Harare Sports Club, 5 October 2021
Ireland 253-8 (50 overs; L Delany 88, S Kavanagh 31; J Nkomo 2-46, P Marange 2-48)
Zimbabwe 254-6 (43.5 overs: M Musonda 103*, P Marange 27; C Murray 2-46, S MacMahon 1-23)
Zimbabwe won by 4 wickets