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Ireland struggle against Zimbabwe spinners in opening T20 in Harare

Zimbabwe spinners Ryan Burl and Wellington Masakadza helped restrict Ireland to 114 all out on Thursday in the first of three Twenty20 internationals at Harare Sports Club.

Right-arm leg spinner Burl (3-29) clean bowled Harry Tector and George Dockrell and also claimed the wicket of Mark Adair thanks to a catch by captain Craig Ervine.

Masakadza (2-13), a left-arm off spinner, ended the innings of Curtis Campher, the second highest Irish scorer with 20 runs, and Tyrone Kane.

The fast-medium pair of Tendai Chatara (2-17) and Richard Ngarava (2-20) also played significant roles for Zimbabwe, who won the toss.

Battling at 84-7, Ireland got a boost from Gareth Delany, who top scored with 24 runs off 20 balls, including two fours.

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Stephen Doheny (15) was the only other Irish batter to reach double figures with captain and opener Andy Balbirnie (5) among those who flopped.