Zimbabwe got a taste yesterday of just why the Gujarat Titans paid $500,000 for two months of the services of Josh Little. Ireland’s star bowler returned a career best 4-38 as he drove his team to a 46-run victory in the second game of the ODI series in Harare.

He took a wicket in his first over and another in his last but in between he showed real menace and produced an unplayable away swinger to bowl Clive Madande.

He duly took the player of the match award – although $500 is loose change for him these days – but there were also fine performances by Stephen Doheny, 86 in just his second ODI, and 75 by Harry Tector as his own purple patch – 401 runs in five innings – continues.

And Paul Stirling, captaining for just the third time in the absence of Andrew Balbirnie, showed verve and clear thinking to claim his third win as skipper, on top of 45 with the bat.

Ireland’s total of 294-7 was six more than the first losing ODI, and when Zimbabwe reached 90-1 and 207-4 they were facing a second defeat. But a freak run out of Ryan Burl backing up by Curtis Campher rattled the hosts.  Stirling called on Little to finish his overs and the Pembroke Titan duly delivered.

Game three is tomorrow, starting at 7.15am Irish time on www.icc.tv.

In Potchefstroom Ireland lost their first Super6 game to England at the U19 Women’s World Cup. A total of 207-2 set up the English, and Abbi Harrison was top score as Ireland were dismissed for 86. Ireland-qualified Sophie Smale, whose brother played for North-West Warriors, took 3-11 for England.