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Hunter, Delany star

Amy Hunter hits 77*, Laura Delany takes 4-12 in romping win

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Amy Hunter’s fondness for the Harare Sports Club continued as she scored an unbeaten 77* on her 50th international appearance across all formats as Ireland Women took a 2-0 T20I series lead with a 42-run victory over Zimbabwe.

Hunter’s innings included six fours and two sixes as she backed up her 101* from the first game on Friday. And after posting a total of 172-3, Ireland captain Laura Delany then took career-best T20I bowling figures of 4-12 as Zimbabwe were restricted to 130-8 in reply.    

Ireland was forced into a change to their line-up, with Freya Sargent coming in for the unfortunate Sophie MacMahon, after she picked up a knee injury in Friday’s victory. There was also one change in the Zimbabwean side as 15-year-old Christina Mutasa made her debut, replacing the injured Ashley Ndiraya.

Following some tight bowling by Nomvelo Sibanda to start, Ireland’s opening pair of Gaby Lewis and Hunter took their time to settle in before going on to compile 94 runs for the first wicket, before Lewis (44) was bowled by Lindokuhle Mabhera.

Ireland also took advantage of several fielding mistakes by Zimbabwe, with Hunter going on to score her half-century off 36 balls. Orla Prendergast, who came in at number three, then showed off her prowess with the bat, blasting a quick-fire 37 (off 17 balls) as Ireland blasted 65 from the final five overs.

In response, Zimbabwe came out with intent, scoring eight runs in the first over. They continued that early assault until the last ball of the fifth over when Ava Canning removed the Zimbabwe captain Mary-Ann Musonda, who was caught behind. Once Musonda departed the run rate slowed down and the hosts were restricted to 67-1 after 10 overs.

Pellagia Mujaji (31) was run out by a combination of Georgina Dempsey and Hunter in the 13th over, before Delany stole the show late on, taking two wickets in five balls as Ireland seized control of the game in the 14th over. And once 18-year-old Kelis Ndhlovu (52) was removed by a brilliant diving catch by Cara Murray off the skipper’s bowling in the 16th over the game was effectively over.

Delany took two further wickets, one thanks to a fantastic one-handed diving catch by Arlene Kelly at short fine leg, as Ireland won comfortably.

The third match of the five-match series takes place on Tuesday, 30 January at 11am Irish time at the same venue.   


Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women, 2nd T20 International, Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe, 28 January 2024

Ireland 172-3 (20 overs; A Hunter 77*, G Lewis 44; L Mabhero 1-18)
Zimbabwe 130-8 (20 overs; K Ndhlovu 52, P Mujaji 31; L Delany 4-12)

Ireland Women won by 42 runs

See full scorecard

key points
  • Amy Hunter has now scored 101* and 77* in the two T20Is so far
  • Laura Delany’s 4-12 is her career-best figures in T20Is
  • Ireland Women lead 2-0 with three matches to play