A rusty batting display saw Ireland beaten by five wickets against Zimbabwe in the opening match of their T20I series in Harare.

The Irish gave debuts to both Ross Adair and Stephen Doheny in a new look to the top of the order.

However, they slumped to 45 for 4 at the halfway stage, and only a run-a-ball 20 from Curtis Campher and a top score of 24 by Gareth Delany down the order saw them past 100.

A final total of 114 looked well short at the halfway stage, but wickets in the first two overs from Harry Tector - his first bowl in the format at this level - and Mark Adair put a different complexion on matters.

However, Gary Ballance's return to international cricket proved a timely one, as he steadied the ship with a solid 30.

Further wickets for Tector (2-17) and Adair (2-12) gave the tourists hope, but Sean Williams' unbeaten 34 ensured the win with two overs to spare, sending the sizeable home crowd home happy.

Ryan Burl's three wickets saw him collect the Man-of-the-Match award, while there were two apiece for Mazakadza, Chatara, and Ngarva on a day where the bowlers made use of a sluggish track.

The sides meet again on Saturday at the same venue in the second game of the series.