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Match Reports,07 July 2015

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Stirling, Masakadza in focus ahead of Ireland v Zimbabwe

A look at all the pertinent stats and numbers ahead of the clash between the two sides

Stirling, Masakadza in focus ahead of Ireland v Zimbabwe - Cricket News
Stirling has hit the second fastest T20I 50, off just 17 balls, against Afghanistan in March 2012.

Ireland and Zimbabwe will go head to head against each other in the third match of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh. We take a look some facts, upcoming milestones and key battles to look forward to.

Facts:

· Ireland and Zimbabwe have never previously met in a T20 match. 

· Since the ICC World Twenty20 2012, Ireland has won three and lost one of its T20I matches, the defeat coming in its most recent fixture, against West Indies. 

· Zimbabwe has lost 19 of its last 20 T20Is. 

· Ed Joyce is one of four players to represent two countries in T20Is. Ireland apart, he played for England.

· Hamilton Masakadza has hit seven of the 12 highest scores by Zimbabwe players in T20Is.

Upcoming Milestones:

· Brendan Taylor needs 29 runs to become the second player after Hamilton Masakadza to score 500 T20I runs for Zimbabwe. 

· Elton Chigumbura needs four wickets to become the second player after Prosper Utseya to take 20 T20I wickets for Zimbabwe. 

·Chigumbura will become the third player to represent Zimbabwe 25 times in T20Is if selected. 

Key Battles:

Ireland v Zimbabwe – Paul Stirling v Hamilton Masakadza 

Ireland rely on Paul Stirling for explosive starts. A natural attacking instinct and intent to score quickly enables him to score his runs at a strike rate of 125. Stirling's 76 from 43 balls against Afghanistan in the qualifying tournament for this event serves notice of his threat. Stirling hit the second fastest T20I 50, off just 17 balls, against Afghanistan in March 2012. 

Hamilton Masakadza is a slightly more sedate top order batsman – his strike rate is 115.2 – but his average (28.4) is superior to Stirling’s and he is no less important to the team. Masakadza has been consistent, having scored four half-centuries, all against Test-playing nationa,s in his last 10 T20I innings.

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