ALL-ROUNDER Luke Jongwe lofted Barry MacCathy’s delivery for a four over the long on boundary as Zimbabwe beat Ireland by two wickets in the T20I final before a capacity crowd at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Fellow all-rounder Ryan Burl had made life easier for the hosts with 16 runs off three balls of the penultimate over living up to his billing as a finisher.
Burl sent Ireland seamer Goerge Dockrell for two consecutive maximums off the fourth and succeeding delivery as well as a boundary on the last ball of the 18th over to leave the Chevrons needing just seven runs off the last 12 balls.
Wicketkeeper batter and first T20I match winner, Clive Madande was then bowled out for five runs.
Upstepped Jongwe and walked onto the crease as the number eight batsman. Jongwe’s first ball faced went behind his frame and was called out wide.
The Southern Rocks player wasted no time as he lofted his second ball for sending the fans at Harare Sports Club into delirium.
Earlier, Zimbabwe captain, Craig Ervine called correctly on the toss and elected to field.
Ireland were restricted to 141 for the loss of nine wickets in their alloted overs. Zimbabwe trio of player of the match, Burl, Tendai Chatara and Luke Jongwe picked two wickets each while spinner Wellington Masakadza claimed a single scalp.
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Ervine then led from the front with a 43-ball half century top scoring for Zimbabwe with 54 runs before he was caught by Campher off seamer Ross Adair to leave Zimbabwe on 116-5.
Accomplished finisher, Burl then made 30 runs off just 11 balls to help Zimbabwe reach 144 for 6 with an over to spare while Innocent Kaia added a run a ball 23 at top order.
Zimbabwe drew first blood in the first T20I on Thursday beating Ireland by five wickets. Former England international Gary Balance scored 30 runs up the order. He however missed the second match due to a mild concussion after he was hit by a delivery while batting.
The visitors levelled the series with a six-wicket win in the second match, thanks to former Irish international rugby wing, Adair who top scored with 65 runs.
The series returns on January 18 with the first match of the three-game One Day International series at Harare Sports Club.
T Marumani, I Kaia, C Ervine, W Madhevere, T Munyonga, R Burl, C Madande, L Jongwe, W Masakadza, R Ngarava, T Chatara
A Balbirnie, A Adair, R Adair, C Campher, G Delany, G Dockrell, S Doheny, F Hand, G Hume, T Kane, B McCarthy