Harare Sports Club

BAD WEATHER forced the abandonment of Zimbabwe’s opening one-day international against Ireland as a no-result at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

Zimbabwe were in all sorts of trouble when nature intervened, having been reduced to 121/6 in the 26th over after Ireland had won the toss once again and decided to field.

The fall of Clive Madande, beaten by an in-swinger from Graham Hume, for 11 off 15 balls had plunged the Chevrons into deeper trouble but at that time the heavens intervened.

Harare has been under a long dry spell under very hot conditions and yesterday the much-needed rain was accompanied by lightning and thunder which forced umpire Adrian Holdstock to take the players off the field just as Luke Jongwe was about to start the seventh wicket partnership. A heavy downpour turned Harare Sports Club into some wetland and the outfield unplayable. The bad weather continued until after 2.30pm, forcing the match officials to abandon the match as a no result.

Just like the previous T20 international matches, Zimbabwe’s batting was really bad and Ireland looked set to embarrass their hosts before the rain came.

The Chevrons got off to a flying start with Joylord Gumbie and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe taking the score to 31/0 after four overs.

However, five successive dot balls by Gumbie in the fifth over created scoreboard pressure on Kamunhukamwe who fell second ball of the sixth over attempting a big hit off Hume and only finding mid-on to depart for a brisk 28 off 15 balls.

Innocent Kaia came in at number three and barely lasted, falling to short ball from Craig Young after a miserly five runs off 16 balls.

Gumbie was scoring at a Test cricket rate and this meant captain Sikandar Raza had to be the aggressor which proved costly as he fell for 15 off 18 balls in the 18th over and at that stage Gumbie was on 26 runs off 55 balls.

Zimbabwe were now 79/3 as Ryan Burl took to the crease at number five.

Burl found the going tough and coupled with Gumbie’s pedestrian knock, pressure was bound to increase and things got worse in the 20th over as two wickets fell in succession.

Gumbie was run out first ball as he attempted a second run while Burl was not interested and they were now both at the keeper’s end. Despite the Irish fumbling the ball, they still had all the time to get things right before Gumbie made his ground and he was out for 28 off 59 balls.

Burl fell the next ball for a duck after facing eight balls as an attempted pull shot took the ball to the keeper via an under-edge and Zimbabwe were now 81/5.

Brandon Mavuta and Clive Madande seemed to revive Zimbabwe with a 40-run stand, the highest partnership of the innings at that stage.

The second of the three-match series is at Harare Sports Club tomorrow.


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