Taylor and Chigumbura seal series win
Zimbabwe 239 for 7 (Taylor 71, Taibu 41, K O'Brien 2-33) beat Ireland 238 for 9 (K O'Brien 73*, Stirling 52, Utseya 2-37) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Elton Chigumbura guided his side to a three-wicket victory and condemned Ireland to a series loss in a fluctuating tussle at the Harare Sports Club. His unbeaten 32 ensured Brendan Taylor's classy 71 did not go unrewarded as Zimbabwe survived a flurry of late wickets to sneak over the winning line.
Though hardly overawing, the target Ireland set could have been more straightforward for Zimbabwe had Kevin O'Brien not rescued the innings from 107 for 6 with a patient 73 not out that carried the score to 238.
Hard as Ireland scrapped, first with the bat and then again later with the ball, they could not withstand the a Zimbabwe side comfortable in home conditions. Chigumbura again asked Ireland to bat first and was rewarded in the second over when Ireland captain William Porterfield fell to Ed Rainsford for 9.
Paul Stirling responded by taking 18 - including a six and three fours - off Rainsford's next over on his way to a fluent half-century and while he and Andre Botha were together Ireland looked to be building a meaningful total. Instead, they lost four wickets for 15 runs as Botha, Stirling, Gary Wilson and Andrew White fell in quick succession.
Kevin O'Brien could only watch helplessly at the procession until he found support first from John Mooney (16) and then in a 55-run stand with Trent Johnston (30). Having picked off singles diligently O'Brien finished the innings with a bang, smiting 29 off his final eight deliveries, including 24 off Rainsford's last over to take the total to 238.
O'Brien then rode the momentum to remove Hamilton Masakadza early in Zimbabwe's chase before Taylor and Sean Williams steadied the innings. Much was expected of George Dockrell, who is already turning into the linchpin of the attack, but his first contribution was in the field, running out Williams to revive Ireland's hopes.
Taylor found a fluent partner in Tatenda Taibu and the pair laid the platform for the successful run chase with an 80-run stand in 16.2 overs before Dockrell broke through by rattling Taibu's stumps. At 137 for 3 it looked too late for Ireland to come back and Taylor passed his fifty from 72 balls. Having worked his way to 71 he was trapped in front by Johnson to give keep Ireland interested before Craig Ervine and Charles Coventry then fell in quick succession to set up a tense finish.
Zimbabwe needed 64 from 70 balls with four wickets in hand but Chigumbura held his nerve to guide towards the target. Prosper Utseya was run out with 47 still needed but Chigumbura, together with Graeme Cremer, sealed the result with seven balls to spare.