Paul Stirling hailed the partnership between Harry Tector and Curtis Campher that helped Ireland level the three-match T20 series against Zimbabwe in another last over finish in Harare.

Just two days after Zimbabwe’s last-ball, last wicket win, Ireland had four wickets and two balls to spare when George Dockrell hit the winning boundary, the ball after he had been dropped.

Zimbabwe were forced to play without star all-rounder and captain Sikander Raza after he was banned from the next two games following his altercation on Thursday with Josh Little and Curtis Campher, who were both fined 15 per cent of their match fees.

After Stirling, Andrew Balbirne and Lorcan Tucker were all out in the first eight overs to leave Ireland 54 for three, Tector and Campher added 66 for the fourth wicket to ensure a fairly comfortable chase.

“That was a real mature partnership, a real sign of the maturity they have shown in the last couple of years,” said the Ireland captain, who admitted Ireland’s fielding was not up to the highest standards. “We need to bring it tomorrow (in the decider),” he added.

There were three dropped catches in the Zimbabwe innings and while none was easy Gareth Delany’s miss off Ryan Burl was expensive. Dropped on 16, Burl and Clive Madande added another 51 in an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 87.

CIYMS slow left armer Theo van  Woerkom was given his T20I debut in place of Barry McCarthy but he bowled only one over (for 10 runs) and despite opting for the extra slow bowler, Stirling used only four overs of spin as pacemen took four of the wickets.

Craig Young was hit for two sixes from his first two balls and conceded 22 in the over but he stormed back to give up just 11 runs in his next three overs.

Scores: Zimbabwe 165-5 (C Madande 44 not out, T Kamunhukamwe 39, R Burl 38 not out; M Adair 2-28, G Delany 1-13, C Campher 1-28, C Young 1-33) Ireland 166-6 (19.4 overs, H Tector 48, C Campher 37, M Adair 19, G Dockrell 16 not out, L Tucker 12, P Stirling 10; R Ngarava 2-33). Ireland won by four wickets.