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Little, Campher star as Ireland win Zimbabwe ODI

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Josh Little claimed a national-record six wickets for 36 and Curtis Campher hit a brisk 66 as Ireland beat Zimbabwe by four wickets on Friday to take a 1-0 lead in the ODI series.

Having won the toss and opted to bat first, Zimbabwe slumped to 70-6 before a middle-order revival led by Wellington Masakadza (40) saw the hosts all out for 166 in 42.5 overs.

Seamer Little wreaked havoc in the fourth over, claiming three wickets off five deliveries at Harare Sports Club.

He dismissed Zimbabwe star Sikandar Raza, deputising as captain for injured Craig Ervine, soon after for just two.

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Ireland lost Andy Balbirnie to a golden duck and fellow opener and captain Paul Stirling (14) fell cheaply as the visitors stumbled to 29-2 in an innings briefly halted by rain.

Campher then took charge, striking 10 fours off 71 balls, and stands of 52 with Harry Tector and 43 with Lorcan Tucker set up the tourists to reach 170-6 with 59 balls remaining.

Victory gave Ireland the lead in the three-match series after the first was abandoned due to rain on Wednesday. The final match is scheduled for Sunday.

Player-of-the-match Little said: “It was nice that the team won and I enjoyed some personal success.

“I managed to beat the bat today on a few occasions and it kept the ball new, allowing me to swing it.

“My in-swingers were a decent option to the right-handers, so that is definitely a plan. I was quite sore after my spell so I want to get into an ice bath and be ready for Sunday.”

Stirling, captaining Ireland for the first time on the white-ball tour of Zimbabwe, described the 10 overs of Little as “one of the best spells I have seen”.

“We wanted to go 1-0 up and ticked that box. There is a series to win and we will come back hungry on Sunday.”

Raza said: “We have had too many top-order collapses this year. We needed at least 200 runs to be competitive.”

READ: President’s Trophy set to begin from 16 December

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