Cricket

Kiwis see off Zimbabwe

2011-10-17 18:33
Brendon McCullum (File)

Harare - New Zealand opening batsmen Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill continued their assault on the Zimbabwe bowlers to set up a comfortable win in the second and final Twenty20 international at the Harare Sports Club on Monday.

McCullum (64) and Guptill (67) put on 120 for the first wicket as the tourists piled up 187 for three after being sent in to bat in a match reduced by rain to 18 overs a side.

Zimbabwe made a spirited reply but were all out for 154 with seven balls remaining to give New Zealand a 34-run win according to the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Chamu Chibhabha hit a career-best 65 off 39 balls for Zimbabwe and shared a third wicket stand of 60 with Elton Chigumbura which kept the home side close to the required scoring rate.

But Chigumbura chipped back a return catch to off-spinner Nathan McCullum in the tenth over after making 39 off 22 balls.

McCullum dismissed Charles Coventry in similar fashion two balls later. There was another useful stand of 41 between Chibhabha and Forster Mutizwa (22) but then Zimbabwe's resistance crumbled.

The last four wickets fell off four balls, two to run-outs and two to opening bowler Doug Bracewell.

In the first match at the same venue on Saturday, McCullum and Guptill put on an unbeaten 127 in 13.3 overs to take New Zealand to a ten wicket win.

They scored even more quickly on Monday before McCullum was bowled by Kyle Jarvis off the first ball of the 12th over, stepping across his stumps to attempt an audacious flick to leg.

McCullum was again the main aggressor, hitting his runs off 37 balls with six sixes and two fours. He also cleared the boundary ropes six times on Saturday when he made 81 not out off 46 balls.

Guptill hit 67 off 46 balls with two sixes and seven fours before he was caught in the deep off Jarvis, who took two for 36 to be the only successful Zimbabwe bowler.

Zimbabwe did not help their cause by conceding 18 extras, including nine wides and three no-balls. The wides included one from Chris Mpofu which went down the leg side and went to the boundary for four additional runs.

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor said: "We off to a good start but Zimbabwe came at us hard. The way Chibhabha and Chigumbura came out and put us under pressure will stand us in good stead for the one-day series."

The sides meet in three one-day internationals, starting in Harare on Thursday, before playing a one-off Test match.

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