Ireland captain Trent Johnston set his sights on qualifying from Group D after his team earned a tie with Zimbabwe.
Johnston produced an economical spell of 1-32 from 10 overs.
"I'm very proud of the guys," he said. "At stages we did our best to throw it away but we fought back in the last 10 overs and gave ourselves a chance.
"We're going to be in here the next two games really fighting and, who knows, maybe qualify for the next stage.
"It feels like there are 20,000 Irishmen here, it was like a 12th man and drove us on when times were tough."
Johnston was delighted with the encouragement his team received from a colourful band of supporters, some in native costume, who jigged around the ground in celebration of every wicket.
"We spoke about the fans," he said. "A lot of people have come over here and spent a lot of money to support us and it's great to give them a tie in our first game.
"We're fighters and we never give in until the game is over, that's what coach has instilled into us."
TJ has instilled a fighting spirit and it was a fantastic result
The next challenge for Ireland is certain to create another jubilant atmosphere, taking place on St Patrick's Day against Pakistan, who lost their opening match against West Indies.
"It's going to be absolutely massive," Johnston said. "We're going to be up for that game and we've got to give Pakistan one hell of a game."
Centurion Jeremy Bray was delighted to survive a difficult start in seaming conditions to post his second ODI hundred.
"The ball was moving around early on and the Zimbabwean guys put the ball in the right areas but I just had to guts it out," he said.
"I was lucky enough to get a few balls away and gradually got the confidence.
"Recently we've played quite a few games where it has come down to the last over and we've come on the wrong end but TJ has instilled a fighting spirit and it was a fantastic result in the end."