Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Gary Ballance Enjoys Winning Debut

Gary Ballance

Former England batsman, Gary Ballance made his Zimbabwe Cricket debut yesterday with a solid knock of 30 runs in a five-wicket victory over Ireland in Harare.

Ballance switched his allegiance to Zimbabwe, a country he was born in, after limited opportunities with England, whom he last played for in 2017.

He played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for his adopted nation but latterly struggled with his mental health and was suspended from future selection after admitting using “unacceptable” language to former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

After Ireland had been dismissed for 114 in 19.2 overs, a four from wicketkeeper Clive Madande lifted Zimbabwe to 118-5 with 12 balls to spare in the first of a three-match T20 series.

His innings ended in the 12th over when a faint nick was caught by wicketkeeper Stephen Doheny off right-arm fast-medium bowler Mark Adair.

Man of the match Ryan Burl, who took three wickets for Zimbabwe, hailed Ballance.

“He is a very experienced player and has a calming presence,” said leg-spinner Burl.

“He has fitted in well. We are picking his brains, and he is learning from us. We are really happy to have him in the side.”

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