By Trevor Makonyonga
It was a beautiful day for Zimbabwe this past Saturday after the senior men’s cricket team won in Ireland by 5 runs in the fifth T20I played at Bready Cricket Club.
Zimbabwe set 124 for 4 with captain Craig Ervine (67*) top scoring.
Youngster, Dion Myers (26) impressed again but it was the two three-for by Luke Jongwe 3-29, and Donald Tiripano 3-31) that did the do for the visitors who bowed down in the series with a respectable 3-2 loss.
Deservedly, Luke Jongwe was named man of the match and he pulled a stunt that no other Zimbabwean player has ever pulled; he spoke in Shona at the post match presentation with Zimbabwe Crickets media manager Darlington Majonga translating.
This class act has been applauded by a number of cricket followers.
This is a very common trait with the Asian teams and Jongwe could easily be the first African to pull this classy act.
The Luke Jongwe interview summed up what will be remembered as a great bowling effort by Zimbabwe.
It will be unfair to leave out Richard Ngarava’s death bowling especially in the last over where Ireland requires 9 runs.
Ngarava bowled a length to make sure ball missed bat and managed to run out Josh Little short ensuring that Ireland were all out for 119.
Ngarava previously defended five off the final over in the first T20I.
Luke Jongwe got rid of the two threats in the Irish team.
Jongwe took Kevin O’Brien with a slow ball and also took Paul Stirling’s wicket to some up a great power play display which he and Donald Tiripano took turns to dismantle Ireland’s batting lineup.
Donald Tiripano swung one away from Andy Balbirnie who then got caught behind in the over that followed O’Brien’s dismissal.
Tiripano ended the powerplay by getting the wicket of Harry Tector who edged one towards slip.
Jongwe then claimed Irish top-scorer Neil Rock as the game stood in a steady position.
There was nothing really big to talk about with the bat except for Craig Ervine’s knock. Ervine reached his half-century off 42 balls before finishing on 67* from 57 balls.
Zimbabwe will now play in three ODIs against the same opponents.