Ireland slid to a disastrous 7 wicket defeat to Zimbabwe 'A' in the second of their warm up games in Benoni. The game was brought forward by 24 hours to allow the Irish an extra practice fixture, and on the evidence of today's dismal batting display, it is badly needed.
Ireland found themselves skittled for just 118 runs in 38 overs, with only Surrey wicket-keeper Gary Wilson with 56, and Andrew White (12) managing to reach double figures. Wilson's 56 came off exactly 100 deliveries, hitting 5 fours and a six, as Ireland struggled to cope with a lively Zimbabwe attack. Tendai Chisuro (3-26), and Tatadzwa Kamungozi (2-13) wreaked havoc with the much vaunted Irish top order, reducing them at one stage to the depths of 59 for 7.
One of those was England Lions batsman Eoin Morgan who made just 2 before being run out. Skipper William Porterfield also manged just 2, but that was more then Kevin O'Brien (1), and Andrew Poynter and Alex Cusack who both failed to score. Trent Johnston and Peter Connell both made 9, while Regan West and Boyd Rankin each managed 7. Opening bowlers Boyd Rankin and Peter Connell both picked up a wicket, but Cephas Zhuwawo blasted 45 from just 33 balls to leave the result in no doubt.
Mbekezele Mabuza with an unbeaten 46 from 65 balls wrapped up a comprehensive 7 wicket win with 22 overs to spare. Trent Johnston (1-19 from 7) was the other wicket taker for the Irish on a day they will quickly like to forget. Both Andre Botha and Kyle McCallan again missed out with injury, and Botha in particular must be a major doubt for the vital clash with Scotland next Wednesday.
Ireland have a chance to redeem themselves straight away, in their next warm up match against Afghanistan.