Captain William Porterfield and man of the match John Mooney spoke of their pride in wearing the green jersey as the team finished their tour of Zimbabwe with the win which keeps them above their hosts in 10th place in the one-day international world rankings. Forced to bat first after Porterfield lost his third successive toss, Ireland posted their highest total of the series and for the first time bowled out the Full Member nation, to win by 20 runs.
We didn't want to leave here losing 3-0. We still have pride pulling on an Irish jersey and we felt we had a lot to prove because we let ourselves down in the first two games," said Porterfield. "We knew we had to win to stay 10th but we wanted the win for ourselves, then the rankings will look after themselves."
Mooney, who top scored with 55, from No 8, after three of the top four failed again, then followed up with the wickets of their best batsman, Tatenda Taibu and captain Elton Chigumbura, a dangerous hitter in the lower order. "It's still nice to pull on the green shirt for Ireland," said Mooney after his 99th appearance. "Luckily I've had a good run in the team and I'm now getting a chance with the ball.
"When our top order hit the ball in the air this series it seemed to go to fielders and if it had happened the other way round maybe we would have won the series 2-1. But we have come here on the back of a long season and everyone can't perform all the time." The fact that the lower order consistently got Ireland into the 200s was seen as a positive by Porterfield. "We lost early wickets and that is something we have to address. But the lads coming in five, six, seven and eight have done a tremendous job. We have been two or three down inside 10 overs but the lower order have produced the goods and got us up to 200 to 240. We will take great confidence from that going into the World Cup and when the top order do click we can put good totals on the board."
Having said that, on such a good pitch as the Harare Sports Club, yesterday's winning total of 244 was not even par and the batting on both sides throughout the series has been a big disappointment, with the bowlers just having to wait for the poor shots. Yesterday, Paul Stirling, Niall O'Brien and Gary Wilson were all culpable while Sean Williams, with a reverse sweep and Craig Ervine gave their wickets away to make Ireland's task so much easier.
Kevin O'Brien with two wickets in his first two overs and a hint of a return to form from Andre Botha made up for a off-day by Trent Johnston before Mooney and Dockrell came on to ensure Ireland's ended their nine-month season on a winning note.