Zimbabwe stutter to 162
Ahmedabad - New Zealand bowled Zimbabwe out for just 162 in 46.2 overs on Friday in a Cricket World Cup clash crucial to both sides' chances of reaching the quarter-finals.
Seamers Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and Scott Styris shared six wickets after Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura won the toss and elected to bat in the Group A clash at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Left-arm spinner and captain Daniel Vettori chipped in with two wickets in a match that started with both sides tied on two points with a win and a loss apiece.
Zimbabwe were off to a disastrous start on what appeared a benign pitch, losing their top five batsmen inside 15 overs.
Opener Charles Coventry was the first to go, run out with just two runs on the board as Hamish Bennett at mid-on threw the stumps down at the bowler's end.
Tatenda Taibu, coming into the game on the back of a match-winning 98 against Canada, earned a reprieve when Vettori failed to pouch a sitter off Southee.
But the bowler was rewarded off the very next ball when he had Taibu trapped leg before wicket for eight, a decision upheld after television replays showed Southee's ball would have hit the off-stump.
Mills, back in action after missing his team's seven-wicket defeat to Australia, sent back Craig Ervine for 11 before Vettori dismissed Chigumbura and Regis Chakabva in the same over to leave Zimbabwe in deep trouble at 46-5.
"It was nice to get a couple of wickets and make a contribution to the team," said Mills. "It's a big game for us, a must-win game and I think 162 is a target we should chase down.
"I was just trying to bowl as straight as I possibly could," he added.
Brendan Taylor (44) waged a lonely battle until he was struck on the pads against the gentle pace of part-timer Styris to be dismissed six runs short of a deserved half-century.
Greg Lamb was the second run-out victim of the game, failing to make his ground after being sent back by partner Prosper Utseya (36).