The first batsman Paul Stirling struck 83 * at 36 balls when Ireland strolled in the second T20I at Bready to victory over Zimbabwe.
After the first game was washed out, the second on Friday, July 12, gained in importance. However, when the rain subsided after five mistakes of the first innings of the tourists, it seemed as if there could be another no-result on the map.
Fortunately, the rain allowed for a game over 13, and Zimbabwe was well on its 40/2 platform and smashed 47 runs in the next four overs. Sean Williams dropped to eighth place for 34 of 12 points, but Craig Ervine continued for half a century.
Ireland was able to retire towards the end and score five goals in the last three overs. Mark Adair netted four despite costing 40 runs over three overs, while Craig Young’s 2/20 was from three overs in the midst of the carnage.
Zimbabwe’s 132/8, adjusted to a finish of 134 out of 13 overs, looked stiff, but Stirling made it to a cruise. The attack took place immediately, albeit by Kevin O’Brien, who passed successive boundaries from the third and fourth ball of the innings and was relentless, each containing a border and containing only two less than two.
O’Brien fell to the final ball of the fifth victory at 19-13, but Andy Balbirnie provided strong support and Stirling was unstoppable. His strike had seven fours and six sixs, and the hit rate of 230.55 was the highest of an Irish batsman in a T20I-half century.
It was his seventh fiftieth in eight international innings. Zimbabwe must surely find a way to stop him from making eight to nine in the series decision on Sunday, but it will not be easy.