Raza the hero as Zimbabwe prevail in first ODI


Zimbabwe drew first blood in the three-match ODI series against Ireland when they beat their visitors by three wickets in a tight finish at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.

Chasing a modest victory target of 220, the African side made heavy weather of the total only prevailing at end of the 49th over with seven wickets down.

Sikandar Raza was the hero for Zimbabwe as he scored an unbeaten 60, and marshalled the tail, to guide the home team to a tense victory.

Craig Ervine , batting at number three, also scored 60 as Zimbabwe laid a solid platform but were pegged backed by the Irish bowlers who initiated a collapse.

Earlier Ireland really let themselves down with the bat as they were 54 for three and then 172 for seven after home team captain Elton Chigumbura won the toss and bowled first.

Wicketkeeper Gary Wilson hit an unbeaten 70 while Ed Joyce scored a patient 53 while a mention should be made for number 10 batsman Andy McBrine, who hit 23 not out off just 19 balls and shared in an unbroken stand of 43 with Wilson for the ninth wicket.

The second ODI takes place at the same ground on Sunday.