Josh Little struck an important psychological blow for Ireland at the start of their three-match one-day international series against Zimbabwe yesterday before thunderstorms and lightning forced an abandonment of the first game in Harare.

The Pembroke paceman renewed his rivalry with Sikandar Raza six days after a verbal spat between the two in the opening clash of the T20 series led to Zimbabwe’s captain and star all-rounder being banned for two matches.

Little got the best of Raza again, having him caught behind by Lorcan Tucker flashing at a wide, full length ball to claim his 50th wicket in ODIs, two overs after a similar delivery had induced an edge that evaded the wicketkeeper’s grasp.

It was clearly a plan Ireland had been working on and Little showed his delight by following through, pointing and shouting: “That’s the one! That’s the one!”

Graham Hume was the pick of the Ireland attack, taking 2/7, while Craig Young also struck twice but their efforts were in vain as the umpires called a halt with Zimbabwe on 121/6 from 25.3 overs, and there was no resumption.