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T20 World Cup 2022, R1, Group B, ZIM v IRE: Raza's 82, Muzarabani's 3-15 help Zimbabwe to 31-run win

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Round 1, Group B, Zimbabwe v Ireland: Sinkandar Raza's 82, Blessing Muzarabani's 3-23 and Josh Little's 3-24 are top performances. Zimbabwe beat Ireland by 31 runs in Group B game at T20 World Cup.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Round 1, Group B, Zimbabwe v Ireland_ Sinkandar Raza's 82 off 48 & 1-22 help Zimbabwe beat Ireland | Walking Wicket (Photo: ©ICC/Getty)
Raza's gets POT for his all-round show (82 off 48 & 1-22) (Photo: ©ICC/Getty)

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 174/7 (Raza 82, Madhevere 22, Little 3/24) beat Ireland 143/9 (Campher 27, Dockrell 24, Muzarabani 3/23) by 31 runs

Player of the Match: Sikandar Raza (82 runs in 48 balls & 1/22)

In-form Zimbabwe, who have undergone a revamp under their coach Dave Houghton having won a T20I and One Day International (ODI) series over Bangladesh at home, besides beating Australia in an ODI last month, locked horns with Ireland, who have played 22 T20Is since the 2021 T20 World Cup, in a Group B game of the first round of the World Cup at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

In head-to-head fixtures in this format, Ireland have won five games while Zimbabwe have earned victory in just three matches.

Confident Zimbabwe caught Ireland napping

It has been one of the best years in recent times for Zimbabwe in all formats of the game they have been part of. After beating Bangladesh at home few months ago in both the white-ball formats, they showed good performances against India before winning their first One Day International game in Australia against the hosts.

The confidence was evident in their first game in this World Cup. Even when they lost three wickets in the powerplay, they didn’t cage themselves. Sikandar Raza coming into the middle began to play his shots as did the batters who followed him to the crease. After posting a winning total, they picked up early wickets and their ground fielding was of top level.

Read More: Sikandar Raza’s brilliant performances against Bangladesh raise Zimbabwe’s confidence

Dominant Zimbabwe opened account with another top-notch performance

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie on winning the toss opted to bowl first. Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani were back in the side for Zimbabwe, while Ireland went in with three frontline seamers.

Put in to bat first, Zimbabwe didn’t begin well losing their first wicket on the very second ball of the game before being pushed to 79/4 at the halfway mark. In-form batter Sikandar Raza stitched up a great 58-run partnership with Milton Shumba to take his side to a safe place. Later with an 82-run knock in 48 deliveries, Raza propelled Zimbabwe to 174/7 in their 20 overs which is their highest score in T20 World Cups.

Just like Zimbabwe, Ireland didn’t begin well too losing their top four wickets to be reduced to 23/4 in the fourth over. After a little partnership between George Dockrell and Curtis Campher took them to 64/5 in the tenth over but regular wickets kept falling and eventually Ireland got cramped to 143/9 in 20 overs as Zimbabwe opened their account with a 31-run victory.

Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the game between Zimbabwe and Ireland in ICC T20 World Cup 2022.