Ireland v Zimbabwe: Hosts win final ODI to draw series as Brendan Taylor bows out

Brendan Taylor is bowled in his final game for Zimbabwe
Former captain Brendan Taylor was bowled for seven in his final game for Zimbabwe
Third one-day international, Stormont
Zimbabwe 131 (34 overs): Ervine 57; McBrine 3-26, Little 3-33
Ireland 118-3 (22.2 overs): Stirling 43, Balbirnie 34
Ireland won by seven wickets (DLS method)

Ireland eased to a seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe in a rain-hit final one-day international at Stormont as the series ended level at 1-1 in Belfast.

Ex-captain Brendan Taylor made only seven in his final international game while Craig Ervine's 57 helped the tourists to a modest 131 all out.

More rain left Ireland facing an adjusted target of 118 from 32 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

Paul Stirling (43) and Andrew Balbirnie (34) helped them cruise to victory.

Zimbabwe won the opener at Stormont but the second game was washed out and rain would again impact the final encounter between the sides.

The match was reduced to 42 overs and then 38 but Ireland would only need 34 to dismiss Zimbabwe with opener Taylor bringing a 17-year international career to an end on his 284th appearance.

Ireland opener Paul Stirling was named player-of-the-series after his 43 on Monday
Ireland opener Paul Stirling was named player-of-the-series after his 43 on Monday

Ervine's half-century gave the tourists hope but the wickets tumbled with Andy McBrine taking 3-26 and Josh Little 3-33.

The weather continued to intervene, Ireland were eventually left requiring 118 and they made easy work of reaching the target.

Stirling and William Porterfield (16) put on 48 for the opening wicket and skipper Balbirnie helped take the hosts to 118-3 in 22.2 overs.

The victory is just the fourth for Ireland in their 15 World Cup Super League games.

"We bowled and fielded well - our bowlers bowled with great control." said Balbirnie.

"It was a pretty complete performance and something we've been looking for - I'm really proud of the boys."

Zimbabwe now head to Scotland for three Twenty20 internationals, starting on Wednesday.

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