Auckland - Martin Guptill continued his rich
vein of form against Zimbabwe as he scored 91 not out to help New
Zealand beat the visitors by seven wickets at Eden Park in Auckland on
Saturday in the first of their two Twenty20 internationals.
Guptill, who scored 232 runs in the three one-day internationals at an
average of 77, blasted five boundaries and six sixes as New Zealand made
160 for three off 16.5 overs after Zimbabwe had scored a credible 159
for eight from 20 overs.
Kane Williamson (48) combined with
Guptill in a 137-run partnership after Kyle Jarvis had taken two wickets
in the second over to put New Zealand under some pressure for the first
time on their tour.
Jarvis had been belted for two boundaries
off his first two balls but then bounced back to bowl Rob Nicol with his
third delivery of the over.
Jarvis then bowled a wide before
having Brendon McCullum caught off the fourth legitimate delivery for a
duck. He finished the eventful over by bowling another wide, conceding a
single and then a dot ball.
Guptill, who was dropped on the
boundary on 20, and Williamson, however, set about ticking off the runs
with Guptill the aggressor while Williamson kept rotating the strike and
ensured New Zealand achieved the total with 19 balls to spare.
The visitors had finally displayed some of the batting talent that has
been hinted at with Hamilton Masakadza blasting three boundaries and
three sixes to top score with 53 off 36 balls.
also cleared the fence four times and hit three boundaries as he scored
48 from 24 deliveries at the end of the Zimbabwe innings.
Left-arm seamer Michael Bates, who bowled Zimbabwe captain Brendan
Taylor in his first over, grabbed two wickets in the 20th over to finish
with innings best figures of three for 31.
Zimbabwe's tour concludes after the second Twenty20 international at Seddon Park in Hamilton on February 14.