Richard Ngarava held his nerve in the last over as Zimbabwe beat Ireland by just three runs in a dramatic first T20 International (T20I) in Dublin on Friday (August 27). After Zimbabwe managed a seemingly meager 117-7, Ireland were well-placed when requiring 18 runs off the last three overs, 12 off the last two and six off the last one, bowled by Ngarava.
Ngarava started with two dot balls to Simi Singh and a single, before bowling Barry McCarthy and, after Craig Young was run out off the penultimate delivery, he conceded just one off the last as Ireland finished agonisingly short on 114-9. Singh (28 not out off 22 balls) had led Ireland's recovery from 88-7 to 106-7 but couldn't quite finish the job.
Zimbabwe's Regis Chakabva was named player of the match for his 47 off 28 balls, with Singh's innings the next best individual score on either side. The victory gave Zimbabwe a 1-0 lead in a five-match series that Ireland are using as part of their build-up to October's T20 World Cup.
The second match is on Sunday (August 29), with the remaining three games scheduled for next week.
Zimbabwe 117 for 7 in 20 overs (Regis Chakabva 47, Wellington Masakadza 19*; Craig Young 2 for 15) beat Ireland 114 for 9 (Simi Singh 28*, Kevin O'Brein 25; Ryan Burl 3 for 22) by 3 runs.
Player of the match: Regis Chakabva