T20 WC: Bitterly disappointed with start to our campaign: Ireland skipper Balbirnie after loss to Zimbabwe

After his side’s 31-run loss to Zimbabwe in their Group B match of ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie said that the side is bitterly disappointed after their loss and its straightforward shootouts for them from now on.
Fiery bowling spells from pace trio of Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava and an all-round performance by Sikandar Raza powered Zimbabwe to a 31-run win over Ireland in their Group B, round one match of ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Hobart on Monday.

“I do not think I can look back and regret (the toss). We were pretty happy at the halfway stage. It was a good wicket, we expected it to be a good wicket all day. When you get blown away, you are always up against it. Bitterly disappointed with how we started with the competition but it’s a pretty straightforward shoot-out for us now,” said Balbirnie in a post-match presentation.

“(On Joshua Little) He is our best bowler at the moment, he is our strike bowler, he has experience of playing franchise cricket. He leads the attack brilliantly. Hopefully he can continue to progress. Zimbabwe bowled really well up top, they took something from the first innings on what needed to be done. There will be some learnings,” he added.
Put to bat first by Ireland, Zimbabwe put up 174/7 in their 20 overs. Star all-rounder Sikandar Raza top-scored for Zimbabwe, scoring 82 off 48 balls with five fours and five sixes. He also had a 58-run stand with Milton Shumba (16), which stabilised the innings after Zimbabwe was reduced to 79/4.

Medium pacer Joshua Little (3/24) picked up some crucial wickets for Ireland. Simi Singh (2/31) and Mark Adair (2/39) also delivered key contributions.
Chasing 175, Ireland kept losing wickets regularly. Medium pacers Blessing Muzarbani (3/23) and Richard Ngarava (2/22) had at a point reduced Ireland to 22/4.
Curtis Campher (27), George Dockrell (24), Gerarth Delany (24) tried to bring Ireland back in the game, but the side fell 31 runs short and finished at 143/9.
Tendai Chatara also took 2/22 for Zimbabwe while Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza got a scalp each. Raza was given ‘Man of the Match’ award for his all-round performance.


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