Waringstown teenager Cara Murray’s senior international debut ended on a losing note as Ireland Women lost their tour opener to Zimbabwe in a rain affected contest in Harare.
The 17 year-old all-rounder, who has also played for Saintfield, showed her batting prowess with an unbeaten 14 as Ireland recovered from a disastrous start recovering from 99 for 7 to post 173.
She shared an unbroken 8th wicket stand of 74 in just 68 balls with Shauna Kavanagh who hit 5 sixes and 5 fours in a powerful top score of 79 from 118 balls.
Two rain interruptions meant a DLS adjusted target of 140 in 33 overs for Zimbabwe, which proved little trouble for the hosts as skipper Chipo Mugeri hit an unbeaten 64 in a seven-wicket win.
Sophie MacMahon, also making her debut, grabbed two wickets to give the scorecard some respectability but Ireland looked rusty on their first game since August.
Leg-spinner Murray went wicket-less but showed enough talent to suggest a bright future at this level.
The teams meet again at the same venue on Saturday in the second match of the eight game series.
Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women, 1st 50-over match, Country Club, Harare
Ireland 173-7 (50 overs; S Kavanagh 79*, M Waldron 22, A Kenealy 20; P Marange 2-21)
Zimbabwe 140-3 (26 overs; C Mugeri 64*, M Mupachikwa 40; S MacMahon 2-12)
Target score 140 in 33 overs
Zimbabwe Women beat Ireland Women by 7 wickets (DLS).