HARARE – All-rounder Ryan Burl bagged his second man-of-the-match award as Zimbabwe beat Ireland by four wickets to seal the T20I series 2-1 on Sunday.

Leg-spinner Burl first took 2-28 after Zimbabwe won toss and elected to field first at Harare Sports Club, helping his side restrict Ireland to 141-9, before crucially aiding the African side’s chase with 30 runs after captain Craig Ervine fell shortly after his half-century.

“I spoke to Ryan, I told him he is a batsman who bowl leg spin, and he has won us matches with the ball. Today, with the bat, was the strong finish we want from him,” said Zimbabwe’s head coach Dave Houghton after the match.

Off-spinner Wessly Madhevere alongside pacers Tendai Chatara and Luke Jongwe also grabbed a brace of wickets each as Zimbabwe kept the Ireland batting line-up in check with line and length.

Only Harry Tector was able to resist, top-scoring with 47 for Ireland in a patient innings.

Tector was out when Madhevere’s delivery drifted through the air and clean-bowled Tector, uprooting the middle stump.

In pursuit, Craig Ervine top-scored with 54 for the Zimbabweans, facing 43 balls and hitting six fours.

He anchored the innings after coming in at number three, taking quick singles and waiting patiently for the bad balls from the bowlers to find the boundary.

 “It’s a great place to be at the moment, winning a series against Ireland with some of your lesser experienced players. It’s very exciting for the future,” said Ervine commenting on the absence of star batter Sikandar Raza and premier bowler Blessing Muzarabani.

Ex-England batter Gary Ballance was also missing for Zimbabwe for the second time in the series after a mild concussion in the first T20I.

Left-hander Burl, the player of the series, took Zimbabwe home with an 11-ball 30, as all-rounder Jongwe hit the winning runs with a boundary over long on, off the last ball of the penultimate over.


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