New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Skipper Elton Chigumbura’s blistering unbeaten century went in vain for Zimbabwe as Ireland chased down a 245-run target with three balls to spare in a thrilling finish to the World Cup warm-up match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur Tuesday.
Electing to bat, Zimbabwe scored 244 for eight in 50 overs after Chigumbura made 103 not out. In reply, Ireland reached the target losing six wickets with Andre Botha (79, 101 balls, 5×4) being the top scorer. He along with Kevin O’Brien (62 not out, 61b, 6×4) forged a 99-run fifth-wicket partnership to lay a strong foundation for the chase.
Earlier, Zimbabwe were off to a horrendous start, losing three wickets for 12 runs before wicketkeeper-batsman Tatenda Taibu and then Chigumbura propped up the scoring. Chigumbura’s knock came in 81 balls with eight fours and three sixes.
In the other warmup match, the Netherlands beat Kenya by two wickets in another cliff-hanger at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
Choosing to bat, Kenya, riding on Seren Waters’ unbeaten 126 (150b, 12×4) rustled up 263 for five in 50 overs. But Ryan ten Doeschate hit an unbeaten 98 (92b, 3×4, 4×6) to take the Dutch home with the loss of eight wickets and five balls to spare.
Veteran Steve Tikolo, who will be making his fifth World Cup appearance, was the pick of Kenyan bowlers, taking four for 39.