ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Ireland v Zimbabwe, World Cup warm-up, Nagpur

Botha and O'Brien secure tight victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 15, 2011

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Ireland 245 for 6 (Botha 79, K O'Brien 62, Cusack 47) beat Zimbabwe 244 for 8 (Chigumbura 103*, Taibu 45) by four wickets

Elton Chigumbura celebrates his century, Ireland v Zimbabwe, World Cup warm-up match, Nagpur, February 15, 2011
Elton Chigumbura struck a fine hundred but Ireland still overhauled the target © Getty Images
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Ireland secured an impressive four-wicket victory against Zimbabwe to highlight their potential for making a mark on the World Cup. Kevin O'Brien guided them home with three balls spare as he struck an unbeaten 62 after adding 99 with Andre Botha (79) to form the backbone of the chase.

It meant Elton Chigumbura's 81-ball 103 went in vain and completed back-to-back warm-up defeats for Zimbabwe who were comprehensively beaten by South Africa in Chennai. They weren't helped when Ed Rainsford was forced out of the attack after his first delivery when he was struck on the leg by a straight drive, leaving the bulk of their bowling once again in the hands of the spinners. But in the absence of key batsmen Ed Joyce and William Porterfield, Ireland showed fine composure having lost Paul Stirling in the first over.

Alex Cusack gave the innings an early foundation with his 47, but at 127 for 4 in the 32nd over Ireland still needed a substantial partnership to overhaul the target. Botha provided the anchor while O'Brien brought the muscle to their fifth-wicket partnership as they kept up with the required rate. O'Brien twice cleared the ropes but lost his partner with 19 needed and Gary Wilson followed to provide a few late nerves until John Mooney helped see Ireland home.

Zimbabwe's top order had struggled, slipping to 12 for 3 and then 100 for 5 as Trent Johnson took 2 for 9 in five overs. Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya added 54 as Ireland used a variety of bowling options and Chigumbura then took charge with the lower order for company. He hit eight fours and three sixes as 90 runs came from the last seven overs, but it still didn't prove enough.

"It was the worst fielding performance we have produced since I took over as coach," said a disappointed Alan Butcher afterwards. "It was diabolical and unacceptable and I told the players that. We didn't score enough runs and it was actually a good effort to get so close to victory given how poorly we fielded."

For Chigumbura it was a day of mixed emotions: "I'm pleased to have scored the hundred and to get back to form - hopefully I can carry it on for the rest of the tournament. But we will have to improve as a team and it was very disappointing to field like we did and to lose."


Comments: 28 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (February 18, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

i surely bet that ireland and zimbabwe have agood chance of winng this years world cup these are 2 teams that i've supported in my life i bet for sure and if anybody don't believe this come back and see on april 2.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 17, 2011, 13:44 GMT)

The irish are good that is true , as is kenya and netherlands and canada , why not even china and the united states while were at it.

the point here is there are ten test playing nations aus , eng , windies , pak , ind , nz , sri la, south afr, bang , and zimbabwe. Its going to stay that way.

these other nations must just get used to the idea of being part of world cups and such like events , but not tests. One does not need to strain oneself in trying to explain the obvious power balances between east and west as well as the north and south tug of war . they could try and form rebel leagues , but alas if it didnt work in india ,the country with the biggest home spectator constituancy , then i dont fancy their chances of success. i am 32 and have supported cricket all my life , ten test teams is optimal , more one day sides is desireble, champions leagues tourneys helpful ...better than so it cannot not be

Posted by Paul on (February 16, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

If Rainsford is crocked, then best Zim get on the phone to Hami and bring him in. After all no need for 4 seamers in Zim squad, when they will only play Chig and plus one in matches surely! Coventry should be down at 5 or 6, Hami, Taylor, Taibu, C Ervine, Coventry, Chig, lamb, Utseya, Cremer, Price, Mpofu would have been best XI in circumstances, what a shame Sean Ervine decided that playing in front of 250 people in county matches was better for his career than facing up to the world's best!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 16, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

At last, some runs for Elton. Pity the fielding was so pathetic and what's with our opening batsmen? Come on, this is how not to win games!!

Posted by Bryton on (February 16, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

@ponting_will_rise : you my man (or woman) are dead bang on! I would love to be a fly on the wall when Alister and his team plan strategy....none of their decisions make sense, Butterworth earned a place, despite form Hami has the experience, and if need be young Gary Ballance has earned a call up to open. Conventry is a nice bloke (went to my old school actually), but aside from the phenominal 194, what else has he done, and certainly not from current form (local and international) is their any suggestion he is better than Hami, let alone in the opening berth. I would have conceeded to the idea, if it was Sekanda Butt (who doesnt have a Zim passport yet)...slightly disagree about Creamer, he is a strike bowler (gets wickets) and will be expensive, but unlike Utseya he will get you wickets, I think they complement each other. Williams for me has promise but has not delivered yet, he is frustrating I'd actually say he is a batting all rounder, a weak one at that.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 16, 2011, 3:29 GMT)

So a good news bad news day for Ireland - good win but Zim dropped an opening bowler in his first over. Ireland gave up 50 in the last 3 or 4 no containment after a great first 40 ..... troubling. And the batting will need to be able to make 300+ consistently to cause the upsets that we (Ireland fans) want - I know no Joyce or Porterfield but we need to bowl better and get several 300+ under our belt before we can go at the big boys with confidence. It says a huge amount for Irish cricket that looking at THIS group of players I want and expect more ..... this is our best chance ever not for a couple of headline grabbing wins but to become a team that even the big nations (if not fear) then at least have to work hard to beat ....

I just want us to play to our potential and could be great - we can bat 300 against almost anyone and we can bowl out teams for less than that .... the question is can we put it together .... c'mon boys do yourselves proud

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 15, 2011, 20:44 GMT)

great job done by ireland , afghanistan ireland and kenya are the tree nations which deserve to get test status , ireland has shown that they are better than zimbabwe and probably bangladesh

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 15, 2011, 19:20 GMT)

Weldone Ireland.. Proud of Irish Boys.. Hope Irish team will go least in qfinal.

Posted by ZCF on (February 15, 2011, 18:14 GMT)

Let's not get carried away Zim are better than all the associates (more in the WI, NZ, Bangla group). It's quite obvious that Zim don't know how to use the warm up matches properly. They neglect to use most of the selected BATSMEN for their innings and mainly bowlers for the opposition's innings. Good to see Elton in some form. But why isn't he bowling? He needs to contribute 10 tight overs with the ball. I like the choice of Duffin., but you have to say - the selection is wrong Chakabva ahead of Hami (despite having 3 keepers already), plus Shingi ahead of the exceptional Panyangarara. With part-timers Taylor&Willliams, Price, Utseya&Lamb are sufficient - no need for Cremer. Should have taken Butterworth in his place. Haven't Campbell and his fellow selectors ever heard of experience ahead of novices!!!

Posted by gift on (February 15, 2011, 17:37 GMT)

Didn't Zim beat full strength Ireland last week, don't get why people are on a high horse...Good play from Ireland

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