Ireland captain Laura Delany is backing her side to bounce back from their opening ODI loss against Zimbabwe.

The Leinster all-rounder made her top score of 86 as the Irish posted 253 for 8, but it wasn't enough as Zimbabwe chased it down to win by four wickets in the 44th over.

"We were really happy with how our batting unit performed yesterday Ė Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis were played patiently up at the top and gave us a great foundation to build on," said Delany.

"Rebecca Stokell continued on the good start after Pauly fell, and then myself and Shauna Kavanagh had a good partnership which gave our batters in the latter overs the opportunity to really have a go - which Sophie MacMahon did brilliantly scoring 29 off just 13 balls.

"Personally, it was just a good feeling to spend some time out in the middle after the La Manga tournament at the end of August.

"To be honest, we thought 253 was defendable despite it being a nice deck to bat on. But Zimbabwe are a very professional side, they were very athletic in the field, and they bowled and batted really well.

"We thought we had enough runs on the board, but perhaps didn't back that up with the ball and in the field. Unfortunately, we let a couple of chances go down, which impacted on our ability to drag them back and put more pressure on them.

"But itís the first game of the series, and it was good to be back playing competitive cricket - that is what we are out here for. We didnít come out the right side of it yesterday, but we have three more games ahead of us and will be looking to put right the skills and tactics we know that we need to work on."

Ireland take on Zimbabwe in the second game of the four-match series on Thursday (08:30am).