ZIM vs IRE: Andrew Balbirnie hammers his eighth ODI ton
Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie brought up his eighth ODI century in the ongoing series opener against Zimbabwe. The veteran batter paced his knock to perfection and reached his ton off 126 deliveries. While Balbirnie was watchful initially, he shifted gears after crossing the 50-run mark. Meanwhile, it was Balbirnie's third ODI hundred while leading the Irish team. Here we look at his stats.
A watchful knock from Balbirnie
Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bowl at the Harare Sports Club. Balbirnie arrived at number three after Stephen Doheny (3) perished in the second over. The skipper added over 100 runs for the third wicket alongside Harry Tector, rescuing Ireland from 25/2. Meanwhile, Balbirnie played cautiously as he brought up his fifty off 81 balls. He shifted gears after reaching the landmark.
A look at his ODI career
Balbirnie made his ODI debut back in July 2010. He currently owns over 2,600 runs in 87 games at a 32-plus average. The tally includes 13 fifties and eight centuries. 145 is his highest score in the format. Notably, Balbirnie is only behind Paul Stirling (5,185), William Porterfield (4,343) and Kevin O'Brien (3,619) in terms of ODI runs for Ireland.
How has the innings pan out?
Richard Ngarava and Victor Nyauchi struck in the powerplay, reducing Ireland to 25/2. Balbirnie and Tector steadied the ship with a century partnership. Meanwhile, the Irish team is fighting for redemption in the series, having lost the T20I leg of the series 1-2. Moreover, in-form all-rounder Sikandar Raza is back in the Zimbabwe camp. Hence, the visitors would need to post a substantial score.