Zimbabwe women defeat Irish in Harare opener

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Laura DelanyLaura Delany's impressive 86 was not enough to save Ireland from defeat in Harare
Ireland 253-8 (50 overs): Delany 86, McMahon 29; Nkomo 2-46
Zimbabwe 254-6 (43.5 overs: Musonda 103*, Marange 27; Murray 2-47
Zimbabwe won by four wickets
Scorecard (external site)external-link

Ireland lost by four wickets in the first of four ODIs against Zimbabwe in Harare on Tuesday.

Irish skipper Laura Delany hit 86 as the tourists made 253-8 from their 50 overs.

Zimbabwe were playing their first game with full Women's ODI status and they cruised to the victory target.

Mary-Anne Musonda starred with the captain making a superb unbeaten 103 as the hosts won with 39 balls to spare, reaching 254-6.

Zimbabwe elected to field but Ireland batted steadily and reached 220-4 before Orla Prendergast (28) and Delany fell without adding to the total.

Sophie McMahon made 29 off just 13 balls before being dismissed with the final ball of the innings.

Josephine Nkomo (2-46) and Precious Marange (2-48) were the best of the home bowlers at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe were 25-2 when Musonda came to the crease and her 103 from 114 balls proved decisive as she batted through to secure the win.

Marange (27), Nkomo (25) and Ashley Ndiraya (24) offered support to Musonda while Cara Murray took 2-47 for the Irish.

The teams meet again on Thursday with the final two games on Saturday and Monday.

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