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Ervine ton seals series for Zimbabwe

Host sheds batting woes, eases to five-wicket win in second ODI against Ireland

Ervine ton seals series for Zimbabwe - Cricket News
Craig Ervine's second ODI century gave Zimbabwe a five-wicket win in the second ODI against Ireland.
Craig Ervine's unbeaten second century took Zimbabwe over the line in a chase of 269 in the second One-Day International against Ireland at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday (October 11), giving it a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series. It was Zimbabwe’s first ODI series win in more than two years.
 
Ireland rode on half-centuries from Paul Stirling (72), Niall O'Brien (50), the wicketkeeper-batsman, and Gary Wilson (65) to post 268 for 7 after being asked to bat on a sweltering day. In reply, Ervine's 101 not out off 122 balls took Zimbabwe to 270 for 5 in 48.3 overs for a comfortable five-wicket win.
 
Ervine arrived at the fall of Richmond Mutumbami, the wicketkeeper, who was caught off Tim Murtagh for 14. Mutumbami had put on 47 for the opening wicket with Chamu Chibhabha (30). However, Chibhabha fell in the very next over from Kevin O'Brien, edging to the wicketkeeper.  
 
Ervine found much-needed support from Sean Williams as the duo added 98 for the third wicket in just 101 balls. Williams contributed 43 off 51 balls before perishing by the sword when he skied Andy McBrine, the offspinner, for Ed Joyce at slip to settle under the catch.
 
Ervine blocked his end up and let the rest bat around him, adding 43 with Tinotenda Mutombodzi (25) for the fourth wicket. Ervine raised his fifty with a quick single to midwicket, but the association ended when George Dockrell, fielding at cover, dived to pluck a brilliant catch off the bowling of O’Brien.
 
Sikandar Raza then kept Zimbabwe in the hunt by scoring a breezy 29-ball 33 and adding 64 for the fifth wicket off just 61 balls. By the time he holed out to deep mid-wicket off John Mooney, Zimbabwe needed just 14 off 21 balls. It won with plenty to spare, Ervine hitting a straight boundary off Mooney for the winning runs that also brought up his century. With figures of 2 for 46 off 10 overs, Kevin O’Brien was Ireland's best bowler. 
 
Earlier in the day, Ireland lost William Porterfield in the eighth over of their innings. The captain was guilty of pushing at a delivery angled across him by Luke Jongwe the right-arm medium pacer, and edging it to Ervine at second slip.
 
Stirling and Joyce provided the innings some stability through a 66-run second-wicket partnership. Joyce played second fiddle and used up 46 balls for his 17. Raza, Zimbabwe's best bowler on the day, brought an end to Joyce's stay by trapping the Ireland No. 3 leg before. Zimbabwe missed the chance to consolidate further when Mutumbami dropped a tough chance off Niall O’Brien when the batsman was on 1. 
 
O’Brien made optimum use of the reprieve, adding 41 for the third wicket with Stirling before Raza returned to dismiss the latter by trapping him in front. Balbirnie was dismissed in the 32nd over when sharp fielding by Malcolm Waller, the substitute fielder, at extra cover caught him short of his crease. 
 
Wilson at No. 6 then gave the innings the kind of late flourish it needed. Wilson got going with a couple of boundaries off John Nyumbu's offspin. He put on 64 for the fifth wicket with O’Brien to take Ireland past the 200-mark. Waller had a good day on the field and held on to a catch after running in from long-off to send O’Brien back. 
 
Wilson then struck a few big blows towards the end to power Ireland to a competitive total. A six over long-on off Jongwe gave him his half-century before a run out brought an end to his stay. Wilson had struck six boundaries and sent three over the fence in his 55-ball knock. 
 
Raza led Zimbabwe's bowling effort with figures of 3 for 49 off 10 overs, while Jongwe and Tinashe Panyangara finished with a wicket apiece. 
 
The third and final ODI takes place on Tuesday at the same venue. 

To view the full scorecard, please click here.

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