Key Points From Zimbabwe's T20 Series Victory Over Ireland

From Ryan Burl's impressively resolute match-winning heroics, the return of Gary Ballance,  the suitability of Craig Ervine's captaincy, and the vibrancy of the Castle Corner at Harare Sports Club, here are a few key points to take away from Zimbabwe's T20I series victory over Ireland. 

Ryan Burl in action vs Ireland at Harare Sports Club
Ryan Burl in action vs Ireland at Harare Sports Club. PIC/SportsCast


The Zimbabwe Cricket Chevrons began 2023 on a high note, beating Ireland 2-1 in a three match Twenty-twenty series played at Harare Sports Club. 

Following a comfortable five-wicket victory, the Irish bounced back with a six wicket victory in the second match—the second T20I being a nail-biting affair with Ireland clinching the win with only two balls to spare. Zimbabwe prevailed in the decider winning by four wickets.

Ryan Burl the series MVP

Ryan Burl is becoming a bonafide match-winner for the Chevrons as validated by his impressive performances throughout the series. 

His cameo in the third match took the game away from Ireland as he smashed 30 from 11 balls. George Dockrell was the chief victim, as Burl hit 16 runs from his last three balls in 18th over. 

Burl’s bowling was even more impressive as he finished as the leading wicket taker in the series. 

His leg spin is potent as he added more strings to his bow, utilizing the googly to deadly effect. Overall the bowling unit is improving under the guidance of Steve Kirby as they managed to keep the Irish batters in check throughout the series.

Form is temporary, class is permanent

Coming in into the series, fans were critical of captain Craig Ervine’s suitability to the shortest format of the game. He went on to prove the naysayers wrong with two vital innings as he took the role of anchor superbly. Particularly in the third match as he managed to stitch up partnerships with opener Innocent Kaia, Tony Munyonga and Ryan Burl on his way to another half century before he holed out on 55. 

In addition, his leadership on the field was outstanding making as well making smart decisions with his field placings and bowling changes.

Gary Ballance returns

Gary Ballance made his return to International cricket, now for his country of birth following his run with the Three lions of England. 

Ballance made his T20I debut in the first match and made a steady 30 off 29 balls. He built a partnership with Sean Williams as the Chevrons made light work of the 115 run chase. Unfortunately, he missed out the next two matches due concussion related injuries.

The ‘Castle Corner’ legend grows

Zimbabwe’s home matches at Harare Sports Club are associated with the passionate support particularly from the Zimbabwe Cricket Supporters Union corner popularly known as the Castle Corner. They were in full voice yet again throughout the series spurring on the team to another series victory.

The Chevrons will now shift focus to the three One Day Internationals that are already underway. Sikandar Raza is expected to return to the squad following his globe-trotting exercise in the T20 leagues. Sean Williams is likely to miss out due to a finger injury he suffered in the second match.

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