Zimbabwe 124 for 4 (Ervine 67*, Adair 3-23) beat Ireland 119 (Rock 22, Jongwe 3-29, Tiripano 3-31) by five runs
Bready: Zimbabwe secured a five-run victory against Ireland in the fifth and final T20I in Bready, with the series finishing 3-2 in favour of the home side.
Opting to bat, Zimbabwe encountered a poor start, with their top three being dismissed for single-digit scores. Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, the opener, was snared by Mark Adair for nought in the second over the day.Regis Chakabva, the No.3, was dismissed by Adair off his very next ball, as Zimbabwe were reduced to 3/2.
Wessley Madhevere looked to down the anchor and tough it out, putting on a run-a-ball stand of 31 with Craig Ervine. However, Madhevere fell to Josh Little in the seventh over for a 21-ball 9, and Zimbabwe were in all sorts of trouble.
Thankfully for the visitors, their middle order put up a fight. Ervine was supported Dion Myers and Milton Shumba as he notched up his third T20I half-century with an unbeaten 67*.
He put on a 57-run stand with Myers that propelled the Zimbabwe innings, taking the total to 91, before Myers became Adair’s third scalp.
Shumba, coming in with five overs remaining, ably supported Ervine, and the duo’s 33-run unbeaten stand helped boost the total to 124/4.
That target proved sufficient for their bowlers to defend. Ireland had a wobbly start to their chase, with Kevin O’Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stirling and Harry Tector all being dismissed within the first six overs.
Of the lot only Stirling managed a double-digit score, the opener hitting a 13-ball 19, as Luke Jongwe and Donald Tiripano dismantled Ireland’s top order.
The visitors never really recovered from that implosion – Neil Rock looked to steady the innings with a gritty 21-ball 22, along with Shane Shane Getkate (15 off 21) and Craig Young (11* off 9).
But Ireland kept losing wickets. Both Jongwe and Tripano picked three wickets apiece, and the visitors were bowled out for 119 in 20 overs.
The teams will now travel to Belfast for a three-match ODI series, starting on 8 September.