Curtis Campher has not had the biggest impact on Ireland’s tour of Zimbabwe so far, but the flick of the all-rounder’s fingertips on Saturday has set up today’s one-day international series decider at the Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe were well placed to overhaul Ireland’s total of 294-7 in the second match when Campher got the merest touch on a fierce straight drive to run out in-form non-striker Ryan Burl and turn the game on its head.
There is so little between the two sides that the eventual 46-run margin of victory was a surprise, especially as Ireland had bucked the trend of the past 10 days by winning after losing the toss.
“The momentum is with us now, and hopefully we can put in another performance in the next game,” stand-in skipper Paul Stirling said. “I think we’ve still got another 20 per cent to give.”
While Josh Little won Player of the Match for his 4-38 and openers Stirling and Stephen Doheny made good runs it was Harry Tector who again caught the eye with the bat, moving smoothly through the gears to record yet another half century.
The 23-year-old’s 75 was his eighth half-century in ODIs, in addition to three centuries, and in 15 innings since making 58 against the Netherlands in June 2021, he has only been out three times without raising his bat.
“Harry’s been absolutely amazing for us for such a long time,” Stirling said. “I just hope this patch of his - or what ever you want to call it - continues for the rest of his career.”
Another big score today (MON) allied to an Ireland win would surely earn Tector the Player of the Series award but that man Burl is also in the frame and can surely not be as unlucky again.