Zimbabwe – 163 for 5 in 20 overs: Brendan Taylor 59, Elton Chigumbura 22*, Timycen Maruma 13*; George Dockrell 2-18, Andy McBrine 2-26.
Ireland – 164 for 7 in 20 overs: Paul Stirling 60, William Porterfield 31; Tinashe Panyangara 4-37.
Ireland beat Zimbabwe by 3 wickets.
Captain Brendan Taylor put up his fifth Twenty20 International half-century but it was not enough to save Zimbabwe from defeat by Ireland, in their opening group B match of the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh on Monday.
Elton Chigumbura added 22 and Hamilton Masakadza 21 runs as Zimbabwe finished their allotted 20-overs with 163 runs for five, at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
Taylor’s 59 before he was caught by Ed Joyce from the bowling of George Dockrell comprised two sixes and six fours. But it was not enough to save Zimbabwe as Ireland reached the victory target with the last ball of the match when Taylor missed the stumps and so could not effect a run out.
Dockrell finished with figures of two wickets for 18 runs in four overs and Andy McBrine two for 26 in four.
Chasing, Ireland were led by Paul Stirling who posted a man-of-the-match winning 60 runs from 34 balls (9x4s, 1x6). He anchored the Bangladesh innings and, together with William Porterfield (31), put up a partnership of 80 runs for the first wicket, before the captain was caught by Timycen Maruma off Sean Williams’ second ball of the ninth over.
Tinashe Panyangara was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowling, with four wickets for 37 runs in four overs, although he was quite expensive in the beginning and went for 18 runs in his first over, before he changed ends and delivered a double-wicket maiden in the 15th over to make it game-on for Zimbabwe. Williams and Tendai Chatara took one wicket each.
Zimbabwe will play their second group B match against the Netherlands on Wednesday and then the United Arab Emirates on Friday, at the same venue in Sylhet.
The team that finishes top in the group will proceed to group 1 of the Super 10 stage where they will join England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. The winner from group A, comprising Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Nepal and hosts Bangladesh will join Australia, India, Pakistan and the West Indies in group 2.
The top two sides after round-robin play in the groups will proceed to the knock-out stage leading to the final on the 6th of April.