CARA MURRAY became the first Ireland woman to take six wickets in a one-day international as a magical spell of leg spin delivered a 81-run victory over Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club, and a 2-0 series win.

Murray hit the stumps four times as she found impressive turn from a painfully slow pitch, and a catch at extra cover plus a smart stumping by Amy Hunter gave the 23-year-old a richly-deserved return of 6-31.

Susan Bray still has the best women’s figures of 7-21, from a three-day game against the Netherlands in 1987, while Isobel Joyce took 6-21 in the one-off Pakistan Test match in 2000.

Put into bat, Ireland quickly lost Gaby Lewis and Hunter, and while Orla Prendergast battled to a top score of 41, hitting four of a meagre total of 13 boundaries, and it needed a rescue act from the lower order to post 180 all out.

Coach Ed Joyce, who once batted through an entire ODI innings for 67 not out on another tricky pitch, would have been delighted to see his numbers 7-11 all nudge into double figures, but less happy that the innings ended with a potential 11 balls unbowled.

The total began to look competitive when Ava Canning, who was again frugal, broke through in the fourth over, and Laura Delany and Arlene Kelly kept the pressure on with nagging stump-to-stump bowling that earned them a wicket apiece.

But it was Murray who did the major damage, turning her leggies past the outside edge of the right handers and through the gate of the lefties to cause such confusion in the batters’ minds that Precious Marange was bowled without offering a stroke.

From 67-3 when Murray first struck, the Zimbabwe line-up subsided to 99 all out in the 31st over to give the Girls in Green a second win in the three-match series, with Sunday’s game tied. The first of five T20 internationals is scheduled for Friday.

Meanwhile, Mark Adair has been named in the  ICC’s T20 Team of the Year, the prestigious award coming the month after the Ireland all-rounder became the second fastest to 100 wickets in the shortest form of the international game, behind Rashid Khan.