Mire guides Zim to first warm-up win

HARARE - Big-hitting Solomon Mire continued with his impressive start to his Zimbabwe career with a quick-silver half-century yesterday against New Zealand domestic side Northern Districts XI, as the African side won their first warm-up match by 22 runs ahead of the upcoming Cricket World Cup in Australasia. 

The 25-year-old right-hander, who hit two half-centuries against Bangladesh in five ODIs in only his debut series for Zimbabwe, was again in a belligerent mood yesterday in Gisborne, New Zealand, smashing 68 runs off just 32 balls,at Harry Barker Reserve, batting at number eight in a game reduced to 35 overs due to persistent rains. 

Opener Sikandar Raza Butt also chipped in with a half-century of his own, scoring 59 at the top of the order as the Zimbabweans totalled 229-8 runs in their allotted overs.

In response, Northern Districts XI made an unsuccessful bid to chase down Zimbabwe’s total as a regular fall of wickets denied them any kind of momentum.

In the end, Districts made 207 for the loss of eight wickets, their only resistance coming through a 70-run fifth wicket partnership between Tim Seifert (35) and Jono Boult (59).

Opening bowler Tinashe Panyangara was the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers, claiming two scalps for 27 runs.

Earlier on, Zimbabwe started their innings shakily, losing Chamu Chibhabha, (16) and Hamilton Masakadza for 2 to find themselves two down with only 58 on the board.

Craig Ervine steadied the Zimbabwe innings with a well worked 31, after the loss of Brendan Taylor (11) and Sean Williams (7).

Mire then took charge, smashing three fours and six sixes for his 68 not out to lift Zimbabwe to 229 for 8.

Zimbabwe will now play two more 50-over matches against Northern Districts XI on February 4 and 6 at the Harry Barker Reserve.

After the Gisborne matches, Zimbabwe will play another two warm-up matches, organised by ICC, against New Zealand and Sri Lanka on February 9 and 11 respectively.

Zim line-up

Sikandar Butt, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbura (c), Solomon Mire, Tinashe Panyangara, Tendai Chatara, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Regis Chakabva, Prosper Utseya.

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