Zimbabwe Open Series With 156-Run Win Over Ireland

Zimbabwe 303-8 (Taibu 74, Masakadza 72, Connell 3-68) beat
Ireland 147 (K O'Brien 38, Dabengwa 3-17, Chigumbura 2-18) by 156 runs

Associates Tri-Nations ODI, Nairobi

Half-centuries from Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza helped Zimbabwe beat Ireland by 156 runs in the opening match in the Associates Tri-Nation series in Nairobi.

Zimbabwe scored 303 for eight before bowling Ireland out for 147 in the 47th over.

Zimbabwe made full use of winning the toss as Masakadza carried over his sparkling form with the bat from the Twenty20 tournament in Canada and he hit 72 from 66 balls with 13 fours and one six.

Trent Johnston had Masakadza and opening partner Cephas Zhuwaho removed before Justice Chibhabha (51) and Taibu added 102 for the third wicket.

Ireland hit back, Peter Connell grabbing three wickets but not before Elton Chigumbura (33 from 19 balls) and Stuart Matsikenyeri (27 from 19 balls) had weighed in with useful lower-order runs.

Chigumbura then had Niall O'Brien (two) and Gary Wilson (nought) dismissed cheaply as Ireland's challenge faded alarmingly.

They were 72 for six before Kevin O'Brien hit three sixes to top score with 38 and Kyle McCallan hit 25, but the damage had been done and Zimbabwe ran out comfortable winners, Keith Dabengwa accounting for O'Brien, McCallan and Johnston.

© Cricket World 2008