AMY HUNTER scored a record-breaking unbeaten century at the Harare Sports Club yesterday to set Ireland on the way to a 57-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first of a five-match T20 international series.

The 18-year-old from Belfast, who became the youngest batter in the world to score an ODI hundred when she made 121 not out on the same ground on her 16th birthday, is now the third youngest centurion in the shorter form too.

Hunter’s 66-ball innings contained 13 fours and a six but she left it late to reach the milestone, clipping the last ball of the innings behind square leg for a scampered two that took her to 101 and sparked celebrations in the visiting camp.

The teenager add 138 with opening partner Gaby Lewis - an all-wicket record for Ireland in T20s, bettering Lewis and Kim Garth’s 113 against Scotland in 2019.

After Lewis was lbw for 56 from 39 balls, with 10 fours, Orla Prendergast’s cameo kept up the momentum, and skipper Laura Delany could afford the luxury of pushing singles in the final over to put Hunter back on strike as the Girls in Green posted 191-3.

Zimbabwe’s reply was kept in check by disciplined stump-to-stump bowling from the Ireland medium pacers to the extent that the home side didn’t better a run a ball until the 14th over.

Alana Dalzell and Georgina Dempsey took two wickets apiece, and Cara Murray the fifth as Zimbabwe stuttered to 134-5 from their 20 overs, leaving the Player of the Match adjudicator to announce a formality.

Asked before the tour which was her favourite format - ODIs or T20s? - Hunter had cheekily replied: “It tends to be whichever one I’m doing well in at any given time!”

It’s a fair bet the answer would have been T20s last night.