CRICKET: Ireland bowlers toil in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's PJ Moor
Zimbabwe's PJ Moor

Ireland’s bowlers endured 90 overs of toil on the first day of their game against Zimbabwe ‘A’ in Harare.

Centuries from Malcolm Waller and Regis Chakabva saw the hosts finish on 350 for 6 on a perfect strip after they had opted to bat first after winning the toss.

Ireland rested captain William Porterfield – Gary Wilson taking the reins – and their two most experienced players in Ed Joyce and Tim Murtagh.

Former YMCA and CIYMS player PJ Moor added 55 for the first wicket with Hamilton Mazakadza (28), before the latter was dismissed by Kevin O’Brien (1-46).

John Mooney (2-60) struck twice in the space of two deliveries, accounting for Roy Kaia (4) and Visu Sibanda to put Ireland in the ascendancy at 60 for 3.

Moor struck seven boundaries and one maximum to reach 72 from 68 balls, before Bready speedster Craig Young (2-81) bowled him just after lunch to leave Zimbabwe on 92 for 4.

That was to be Ireland’s only success for 254 deliveries as Waller and Chakabva added a mammoth 198 for the 5th wicket.

Chakabva was first to reach his century, hitting 9 fours and 2 sixes in his 104 from 161 balls before Andy McBrine (1-41) clung on to a return catch at the second attempt.

Craig Young dismissed Godwill Mamhiyo (22) with the second new ball, but Waller continued to defy the Ireland attack finishing the day unbeaten on 123 - his 160 ball innings contained 13 boundaries.

Ireland will be keen to wrap up the final four wickets early tomorrow, but it won’t be easy on the most placid of pitches.

Ireland v Zimbabwe A, at Harare Sports Club, Day 1 of 4

ZIMBABWE A 352/6 (90 overs, M Waller 119*, R Chakabva 104, PJ Moor 52, H Mazakadza 28, J Mooney 2-60, C Young 2-81)

Continues Sunday