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Cricket World Cup: Ireland beat Zimbabwe in warm-up

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Dates: 19 February-2 April Venues: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Coverage: Highlights on BBC TV, Red Button & BBC Sport website (UK users only); Live Test Match Special commentary (BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website, some games also on BBC Radio 4 LW) and live text commentary on all England matches and selected other major games; Also live on Sky Sports

Andre Botha on his way to compiling 79 against Zimbabwe in Nagpur
Andre Botha on his way to compiling 79 against Zimbabwe in Nagpur

Ireland defeated Zimbabwe by four wickets in their final warm-up game ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

Zimbabwe won the toss in the Indian city of Nagpur and batted first, scoring 244-8 in their 50 overs.

Andre Botha and Trent Johnston were best with the ball for Ireland, taking two wickets apiece.

Botha (79) and Kevin O'Brien (62 not out) put the Irish in control before John Mooney hit the winning runs as Ireland won with three balls to spare.

Zimbabwe clawed their way back from a top-order collapse with captain Elton Chigumbura's fighting 103 not out off 81 balls leading the way.

Johnston and Boyd Rankin did the early damage before wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu steadied the ship with his 119-ball 45.

Taibu and Craig Ervine built a useful 62-run stand for the fourth wicket but that was ended with Ervine run out for 27.

Zimbabwe lumbered their way to 100 in 31 overs but Taibu lost his cool and an attempted slog was caught by Andrew White, off Albert van der Merwe.

A 52-run partnership between Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya came to the rescue with the latter contributing 26 before falling to Botha, while Chigumbura hit eight boundaries and three sixes during his quickfire innings at the death.

In reply, Niall O'Brien and Alex Cusack helped the Irish recover from the first-over loss of Paul Stirling for a duck to reach 40, before the former departed for 15 off Ray Price.

Cusack hit five boundaries and was looking good for his 47 off 67 balls but was caught out by Chigumbura off Graeme Cremer in the 22nd over.

Botha played a patient innings despite the fall of Andrew White (19) and reached his fifty in 77 balls.

O'Brien got to his half-century at nearly a run-a-ball, as he supported the 99-run stand well, hitting six boundaries and two sixes to finish the match unbeaten on 62.

Botha's wicket in the 47th over followed by Wilson's (seven) was too little too late for Zimbabwe, as Ireland were able to chase down the remaining runs to ensure a positive step in their build-up to the start of the World Cup on Saturday.

Ireland had previously lost to New Zealand and Kenya in their first two warm-up games.

Full details of all World Cup warm-up games

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see also
Ireland beaten by NZ in warm-up
12 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Ireland lose to Kenya in warm-up
08 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Joyce ready for Irish challenge
11 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Ireland skipper upbeat for Cup
10 Feb 11 |  Ireland
West left out of Irish cup squad
19 Jan 11 |  Ireland
Cricket World Cup warm-up matches
16 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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