Zimbabwe inspired by the return of Streak

Ireland 196 Zimbabwe 199-2 Zimbabwe won by 8 wickets
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The Independent Online

The return of captain Heath Streak restored some much needed confidence to the Zimbabwe camp as the tourists recorded an impressive win over Ireland here yesterday.

Streak, who was rested for Zimbabwe's 10-wicket defeat at Stormont three days ago, produced an inspired spell of bowling to dismiss the Irish top order. The Ireland captain Jason Molins, who scored an unbeaten century in Belfast, won the toss and decided to bat but his decision backfired as Zimbabwe ripped through the top order, reducing the hosts to 36 for 5 at one stage.

Streak's opening spell produced three wickets for 16 runs. Andy Blignaut then took two wickets for 32 runs. Streak finished with figures of 3 for 29 and Douglas Hondo, who was punished for wayward bowling by Mulins three days earlier, made amends with 3 for 53.

For once the fragile Zimbabwe batting line-up showed some fight, as openers Dion Ebrahim and Doug Marillier put on 52 for the first wicket. Ebrahim anchored his side's run-chase, but even he was forced to play second fiddle to Stuart Carlisle, who made a quick 49. Carlisle gave Paul Mooney a return catch with the score on 134.

Ebrahim, who finished unbeaten on 81, and the experienced Grant Flower (31) guided Zimbabwe home with more than nine overs to spare.