Former rugby union player Ross Adair starred as Ireland defeated Zimbabwe by six wickets to level the three-match T20I series on Saturday.
The former Ulster wing top-scored with 65 while opening. Ireland reached the target of 145 with two balls to spare at Harare Sports Club.
Adair set the foundation with captain Andy Balbirnie (33). They combined for 48. Adair hit four sixes and two fours while facing 47 balls in a composed innings.
“I took my time and it paid off,” the all-rounder said. “I knew if I could be patient, the boundaries would come. It’s game down, we pat ourselves on the back, and come back again tomorrow.”
The series decider is on Sunday.
Adair was out in the 15th over after he tried to clear long-on. He mis-hit and was caught by Wessly Madhevere off pacer Richard Ngarava.
But George Dockrell (15) and Curtis Campher (6) survived a late Zimbabwe bowling comeback to get the Irish home at 150 for four in reply to the home side’s 144 all out.
Zimbabwe’s batting unit was in disarray as captain Craig Ervine fought a lone battle with 42. Opener Tadiwanashe Marumani (25) and Sean Williams (19) were the other notable contributors.
Disciplined bowling led by pacer Graham Hume’s three for 17 disrupted any meaningful partnerships Zimbabwe had.