Hamilton - Kane Williamson produced some brilliant placement under pressure to guide New Zealand to a five-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in their second Twenty20 international at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Tuesday.
Williamson scored 20 runs from five balls, stroking three boundaries and a six, after he had come to the wicket in the penultimate over with the hosts needing 21 runs to win the match and secure a sweep of every game on the tour.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor had scored 75 not out in his side's 200 for two in their 20 overs and while New Zealand were always in touch with the imposing run rate, they looked like they could be headed for defeat when they lost two wickets off successive balls in the 19th over.
Williamson then took the game by the scruff of the neck and ensured New Zealand head into their series against South Africa with confidence high and knowing they had been placed under pressure in the final Zimbabwe match.
James Franklin (60) top scored for New Zealand and combined in an opening partnership of 103 with Rob Nicol (56) before he was run out while attempting a second run following some miscommunication with skipper Brendan McCullum and Kegan Meth made a direct hit from the boundary.
Hamilton Masakadza, who scored 53 in the first Twenty20 international, blazed 62 off just 42 balls as he and Stuart Matsikenyeri (32) put on 76 for the first wicket for the visitors.
Taylor and Masakadza continued to belt the New Zealand attack around the picturesque ground, prompting McCullum to use eight bowlers and make 15 bowling changes, and put their fielders under pressure for the first time on their short tour.
Taylor and Elton Chigumbura (29 not out) combined for an unbroken 79-run third wicket partnership that ensured Zimbabwe posted not only a challenging total, but also their highest mark in a Twenty20 international.
RJ Nicol, BB McCullum (captain & wk), KS Williamson, C de Grandhomme, AM Ellis, JEC Franklin, NL McCullum, KD Mills, RM Hira, MD Bates, TG Southee
BRM Taylor (captain), H Masakadza, T Taibu (wk), MN Waller, E Chigumbura, SW Masakadza, KO Meth, P Utseya, RW Price, KM Jarvis, S Matsikenyeri