Harare - Ireland avoided a whitewash in the one-day international series against Zimbabwe on Thursday, winning the third and final match by 20 runs after John Mooney's 55 and three wickets by Kevin O'Brien and George Dockrell.
After being bowled out for 244 mainly due to Ed Rainsford's maiden five-wicket haul, Ireland dismissed Zimbabwe for 224 with 2.2 overs left at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe had taken an unassailable 2-0 series lead following wins on Sunday and Tuesday at the same venue.
"It's disappointing, we came here to win the series," Ireland captain William Porterfield said. "In the first two games, we put ourselves in winning positions, but they managed to pull through. We didn't score enough runs, to be honest. It was nice to pull through today, it was fantastic. I thought we did pretty well. No one wants to lose 3-0, you got to pride yourself in wearing the Ireland green jersey."
For Ireland's batting, John Mooney put on a stand of 66 with Andrew White, who hit 41. Porterfield made 46.
Ed Rainsford claimed 5-36 with persistent line and length to better his previous ODI best of 4-23.
Rainsford had Ireland in trouble at 40-3 in the seventh over. Paul Stirling was caught in the covers on 13 by Craig Ervine. Rainsford then had Niall O'Brien out for 5 in a stunning catch at cover point by Prosper Utseya, before trapping Andre Botha for a duck. Rainsford also removed White and Albert van der Merwe for a duck.
Sean Williams made 74 for Zimbabwe but O'Brien's 3-27 and Dockrell's 3-41 gave the visitors a consolation win.
"Its been fantastic," Porterfield said. "I played with Zimbabwean Anthony Ireland at Gloucestershire. He said it's a fantastic country. He said, 'You will love it, the people are fantastic.' We were entirely comfortable."