Zimbabwe XI v Ireland, ICC Intercontinental Cup, 4th day

Ireland out of finals race after draw

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 23, 2010

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Ireland 465 (White 102, Mooney 87, Masakadza 5-107) and 151 for 4 (Porterfield 66) drew with Zimbabwe XI 590 (Williams 178, Dabengwa 140)

Zimbabwe took second place on the Intercontinental Cup table after earning nine points in a high-scoring draw based on a first-innings lead against Ireland. They are now ahead of Scotland, who refused to tour Zimbabwe for their scheduled Intercontinental Cup clash in October. Should the two teams not play each other, Zimbabwe, ahead on points, are likely to qualify for the final in Dubai in November against table-toppers Afghanistan. Zimbabwe Cricket ruled out the possibility of a neutral host for the Scotland fixture but the ICC is yet to take a call on the matter. Zimbabwe's lead also meant Ireland were knocked out of the race for the final; they are now fourth.

A draw looked seemingly inevitable at the end of the third day as Zimbabwe batsmen Sean Williams and Keith Dabengwa smashed centuries to help their team overhaul Ireland's 465. The Zimbabwe lower order, led by Forster Mutizwa's unbeaten 67, extended Zimbabwe's total to 590 on the fourth day. Ireland seamers Kevin O'Brien and Trent Johnston shared eight wickets but, by then, their team was virtually out of contention.

Ireland did bat 54 overs on the final day and erased their deficit with captain William Porterfield making an unbeaten 66, laced with 11 fours. But the game ended in disappointment for his side which finished with two wins, a loss and three draws in the competition.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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