Ireland found Zimbabwe a much tougher opponent in Dharamsala on Saturday afternoon falling to a six wicket defeat in their second and final World T20 warm-up match.
Paul Stirling returned to his regular opening spot having sat out Thursday's big win over Hong Kong and he and William Porterfield gave their side a solid start as Ireland batted first on a track which offered early assistance to the bowlers.
Stirling was his belligerent self with a couple of big sixes in his 9-ball cameo of 14 while the skipper looked in good touch following his unbeaten 75 earlier in the week.
Gary Wilson joined Porterfield after Stirling went and these two took the score to 70 before the Warwickshire man was dismissed for 31 (4 fours and a six).
That breakthrough seemed to spur Zimbabwe on and former Strabane professional Tawanda Mupariwa led the way as Ireland's middle order struggled.
Wilson timed the ball with increasing fluency throughout his innings, and was perhaps unlucky to be well caught on the leg-side boundary following an improvised shot which look destined to clear the ropes.
Mupariwa (2-36), Tendai Chatara (2-33), Sean Williams (1-19), Wellington Mazakadza (1-19) and Donald Tiripano (1-20) were all on the mark and it needed a couple of late cameos from Tim Murtagh (13*) and George Dockrell (13), aided by 24 extras to get the Irish total up to 155 for 8.
The classy Hamilton Masakadza gave the Zimbabwe reply real momentum as he and Vusi Sabanda knocked 46 off the target before the latter was bowled by Boyd Rankin, playing on for 18.
Masakadza and Richmond Mutumbami then took the match away from Ireland with a 75-run stand and although Kevin O'Brien did for Mutumbami (29- 5 fours and a six), Zimbabwe were in control from there on.
The Irish attack struck to their task manfully, but Mazakadza was able to find boundaries at crucial times, which eased any pressure Ireland were able to accumlate.
Malcolm Waller (16) chipped in to the victory but it was Masakadza who held all the aces, as the track dried slightly and became easier to bat on as the game progressed.
The Zimbabwean skipper's unbeaten 68 came off 49 balls and included 3 fours and 6 sixes and was the difference between the sides on the day.
It's down to the real business for Porterfield's men now and Ireland will look to get back to winning ways against Oman on Wednesday when the tournament starts in earnest.
- Boundary for Paul Stirling
- The Blarney Army
- Boundary for William Porterfield
- Paul Stirling
- Paul Stirling batting
- Anxious look from Paul Stirling
- Sawdust required
- Gary Wilson batting
- Gary Wilson and William Porterfield
- Pulled away by Gary Wilson
- The Ireland camp
- William Porterfield scored 31
- Thumped away by William Porterfield
- William Porterfield dives in
- P J Moor
- Reverse swept by William Porterfield
- William Porterfield on his way to 31
- Sibanda congratulated after taking the catch
- Sean Williams bowling
- Sean Williams of Zimbabwe
- Narrow escape for Gary Wilson
- Gary Wlson
- Niall O'Brien is run out
- Single for Kevin O'Brien
- Square cut by Gary Wilson
- Gary Wilson
- Thumped through the covers by Gary Wilson
- Runs for Andrew Poynter
- Tawanda Mupariwa bowling
- Gary Wilson's improvised flick finds the fielder on the boundary
- Disappointment for Gary Wilson
- Gary Wilson departs
- Andrew Poynter batting
- The Irish bench
- Andy McBrine batting
- Miscued by Andy McBrine
- Belted away by George Dockrell
- Tim Murtagh batting
- George Dockrell
- Hit away by Tim Murtagh
- Runs for Tim Murtagh
- Return to the keeper
- Edged by George Dockrell
- The end of George Dockrell
- Boundary for Boyd Rankin
- Craig Young bowling
- George Dockrell and Tim Murtagh
- Boyd Rankin bowling
- Smashed away
- Scrambled single
- Sibanda is bowled
- Boyd Rankin jumps for joy
- Joy for Boyd Rankin
- Ireland players congratulate Boyd Rankin
- Kevin O'Brien
- Thumped away
- Andy McBrine bowling
- Another 6 for Mazakadza
- Thumped square
- Stump goes tumbling out of the ground
- Kevin points the way
- Mazakadza survives a run-out chance
- Half century for Mazakadza
- Powerful blow
- Catch for Kevin O'Brien
- Craig Young congratulated by Gary Wilson
- Ian Gould
- Straight driven
- End of the game as Zimbabwe win by 6 wickets