Black Caps stutter to victory
Harare - For the second successive match,
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor hit an unbeaten century and finished on
the losing side as New Zealand won the second one-day international by
four wickets at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Taylor made 107 not out off 105 balls with 12 fours and a six to enable Zimbabwe to reach 259 for eight.
But in-form Martin Guptill hit a century of his own to secure victory for New Zealand.
who made a hundred on debut against the West Indies in Auckland in
January 2009, notched his second century in his 54th match.
made 105 off 121 balls and shared a second-wicket stand of 157 with
Brendon McCullum which put New Zealand on course for an easy win before
three wickets fell in quick succession to give the tourists some anxious
McCullum struck 87 off 99 balls but was dropped four times, including a chance before he had scored.
skipper Ross Taylor and Guptill were out within the space of 27 balls,
bringing together two new batsmen in Kane Williamson and BJ Watling with
38 still needed off 47 balls.
Watling was run out with seven
still needed and James Franklin was out for one before Jacob Oram hit
the winning runs with ten balls to spare.
"We stuttered at the
end," said Ross Taylor. "We always had it under control but we would
have liked to finish it a bit more professionally."
followed up his 128 not out in the first match at the same ground on
Thursday, when New Zealand won by nine wickets, with another impressive
innings, again having to battle through a difficult early period when
the seam bowlers received some assistance from the pitch.
"It was a slightly better (team) performance," said the Zimbabwe skipper.
"Whatever total you posted, with the wicket flattening out it was always going to be hard to defend."
struggled against lively bowling from left-armer Andy McKay and the
tall Oram and limped to 88 for four in the 25th over.
found an aggressive partner in Malcolm Waller, who hit 42 during a
fifth wicket stand of 86 off 73 balls as the conditions became easier
Elton Chigumbura (14) and Keegan Meth (20) helped
Taylor in partnerships of 40 for the sixth wicket and 29 for the seventh
Taylor was on 98 when Prosper Utseya was dismissed by
Oram off the first ball of the last over but Ray Price was able to feed
the strike to his captain.
Taylor hit the third ball of the over to fine leg to become the first Zimbabwean to hit back-to-back centuries.
achieved his best figures in one-day internationals, taking four for
53, while Oram took three for 48, which included 14 off his final over.