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Ireland hand Heath Streak a birthday present

It had all started so well! Ireland seemed to have taken advantage of the decision to bowl first reducing Zimbabwe to a precarious 87/5 but that was as good as it got.

In a game where the team selections were in complete contrast to each other it was the hosts who made all the correct decisions. Ireland went in with the pace of Murtagh, McCarthy, Rankin and O'Brien backed up with only the spin of McBrine before needing to turn to the 'occasional' spin of Stirling.

Zimababwe selected two seamers in Jarvis and Muzarabani and four front line spinners - SLA from Chisoro and Williams, the leg spin of Cremer and off spin of Raza.

At 87/5 Sikandar Raza came to the crease and when the Zimbabwe innings closed at 211/9 he was unbeaten on 69.

The perceived wisdom was that this was a below par total but it was more than enough as Ireland struggled from the start of their innings - 54/5 with all but Stirling gone meant that few risks could be taken but there was an air of desperation about the single he called when he was on 41 and the score had battled to 86.

A push into the covers off the back foot to Sikandar Raza was always questionable and when sent back was well short when the return came back to the keeper.

Spin and more spin was the order of the day as Zimbabwe strangled the life out of the innings and the winning margin was 107 runs.

Interviewed immediately after the game Irish captain Porterfield was unrepentant about the decision to field and the team selection saying:

"Having given ourselves 200 to chase any day of the week you'd take it, but we let ourselves down with the bat. We were very confident at half time, but in the second half we let ourselves down."

Ireland's fate is no longer in their own hands as they need to win both their remaining matches and hope that other results fall their way.

Zimbabwe top the table on NRR from Scotland with the Windies third and Ireland drop to fourth place their NRR taking a hammering today.

Zimbabwe's Coach Heath Streak turns 44 today and today Ireland gave him the best present he could have wished for.

Video Highlights

Zimbabwe celebrate a huge victory over Ireland