Ireland are edged to victory by Murtagh and McBrine against Zimbabwe in Harare
Tim Murtagh and Andy McBrine saved their batsmen from embarrassment as they got Ireland over the line in the final one-day international against Zimbabwe in Harare.
An unbroken stand of 29 between the 'Lambeth Lara' and the North West Warriors skipper gave Ireland a dramatic two-wicket victory and kept them within touching distance of their victors in 10th place in the ODI table.
A much improved bowling performance, in which Murtagh was also the star, saw Zimbabwe dismissed for 187 after William Porterfield had won his first toss, but although the captain hit three fours in the first over, Ireland collapsed from 94 for two to 160 for eight as only Paul Stirling stood up to the test.
Stirling hit one of his slowest 50s, from 90 balls with just four boundaries, but it was just what was required.
When Kevin O'Brien (10) and George Dockrell (13) fell, Ireland had to dig deep into their resources, but completed in style with two fours.
Scores: Zimbabwe 187 (49.2 overs, S Williams 51; S Raza 50; S Chigumburu 34; T Murtagh 4-32) Ireland 189-8 (46.5 overs, P Stirling 50, A Balbirnie 24, W Porterfield 20). Ireland won by 2 wickets.