Ireland defeated Zimbabwe in the final ODI by six wickets on Sunday and clean swept the series 3-0. Chasing a target of 191, Ireland started strong and built a 60-run partnership for the first wicket. Paul Sterling contributed 32 runs before throwing away his wicket to Tendai Chatara in 13th over. James McCollum and Andy Balbirinie (5) stitched a brief stand of 7 runs before the latter was sent to pavilion by SC Williams in the 16th over. Skipper William Porterfield joined McCollum in the middle and together they built a 43-runpartnership for the third wicket. McCollum scored 54 runs before being dismissed by Solomon Mire in the 26th over.
Porterfield (49) kept the runs flowing with Kevin O’Brien. Porterfield fell just one short of a fifty while O’Brien (35) comfortably took his side across the line in the 42nd over. For Zimbabwe, Chatara, Williams, Mire and Ryan Burl took one wicket each. Earlier, Zimbabwe, which won the toss and chose to bat, were bowled out for 190 runs. The team suffered a bad start as opener Ryan Burl (1) was dismissed by Tim Murtagh in the third over. After the fall of the first wicket, Zimbabwe lost three quick wickets while adding just 57 runs to the scoreboard. Craig Ervine (8), Brendan Taylor (3), and Hamilton Masakadza (23) failed to leave their mark.
In the middle order, SC Williams played a knock of 67 runs and helped the team to post a fightable total against Ireland. R Mutumbami (28) and KM Jarvis (28) added crucial runs in the final overs to set a target of 191. For Ireland, Tim Murtagh scalped three wickets and returned with the figure of 3-39. Mark Adair, Boyd Rankin and Shane Getkate took two wickets each.
Ireland and Zimbabwe will now play in the three-match T20 series, starting from July 10.