Zimbabwe Go Down Fighting in 2nd Twenty20

It was a batsman's day at Harare Sports Club for the second and final Twenty20 match and, when Zimbabwe looked likely to suffer another heavy defeat, Chamu Chibhabha led a thrilling assault on the bowling so that the home side could at least go down with all guns blazing and lose with honour. Chibhabha's 65 off 39 balls was, in its way, the best innings of the day, as it was made off better bowling than the New Zealand batsmen had to face, and under more pressure, well as Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill batted for their fifties. It was a pity this fine match - 15 sixes were hit, some truly massive - was played before a comparatively small crowd, due to its being played on a weekday and suffering from unreliable weather.

Zimbabwe played Chris Mpofu instead of Regis Chakabva, while Forster Mutizwa kept wicket. They won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat, understandably after the disappointment on Saturday. Unfortunately this did not help them as the knocks given to the bowling this time was, if anything, more intense this time.

It was the first of many sixes in the New Zealand innings, reduced to 18 overs due to a rain shower. McCullum and Guptill found the gaps, picked up balls off a good length for six, and left the Zimbabwe bowlers quite helpless even to contain them. McCullum took 31 balls for his fifty and Guptill 37. Zimbabwe finally got a wicket when McCullum was bowled attempting a scoop off Jarvis; his 64 came off only 37 balls and he hit two fours and six sixes. The opening pair had put on 120 in 11 overs.

So well did the innings continue that New Zealand must have entertained hopes of reaching 200, but the bowlers did manage to pull it back a little at the end. Guptill made 67 and Jesse Ryder 30 not out, the final total being 187 for three off the 18 overs. Jarvis took both wickets to fall to the bowlers for 36, but no bowler went for less than eight and a half an over. Utseya got the most blows from McCullum that his three overs went for 45 and he completely lost his pitch. At the fielding was fairly good, with no catches dropped. Zimbabwe needed to score at more than ten runs an over to win.

Zimbabwe's batsmen, however, had learned something since Saturday's game. They lost their two best batsmen, Hamilton Masakadza (9) and Brendan Taylor (1), early on, but then Chibhabha and Elton Chigumbura launched a thrilling assault on the bowling, mainly by powerful driving. For a while it was the New Zealand bowlers who felt the cosh, as the pair added 57 in six overs. Chigumbura led the way with 39 off 22 balls, a better rate of scoring than any of the New Zealanders had managed, before falling to a fine return catch by Nathan McCullum. Zimbabwe were then 84 for three in the tenth over. Amid the assault the New Zealand bowlers and fielders kept their heads and eventually broke through.

Charles Coventry fell to a soft dismissal, but Mutizwa proved a good partner for Chibhabha, who ran to his fifty off 34 balls. He then launched into the bowling of Nathan McCullum, hitting him for two big sixes, but the bowler responded well, having him stumped by his brother in the same over for 65, with four fours and five sixes. The required rate was now over 15, but Mutizwa continued the fight until a hesitation over a third run led to his dismissal for 22. Utseya, having a bad match, was involved in two run-outs in successive balls, following which the last two batsmen, hitting out, both went first ball to Doug Bracewell. The last four wickets thus fell remarkably in four balls with the total remaining on 154, but at least some of Zimbabwe's top batsmen had done their team proud on this occasion. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 187/3 (18/18 overs; Guptill 67, Jarvis 2/36), Zimbabwe 154 (16.5/18 overs; Chibhabha 65, N McCullum 3/23). New Zealand win by 34 runs (D/L method).
[Match report via ZC]

New Zealand innings (18 overs maximum) 	
                                                R 	M 	B 	4s 	6s 	SR
BB McCullum† 	b Jarvis 	                64 	46 	37 	2 	6 	172.97
MJ Guptill 	c Chibhabha b Jarvis 	        67 	68 	46 	7 	2 	145.65
JD Ryder 	not out 	                30 	32 	23 	3 	0 	130.43
LRPL Taylor* 	run out (†Mutizwa/Coventry) 	8 	7 	5 	1 	0 	160.00
	Extras 	(lb 6, w 9, nb 3) 	        18 					
	Total 	(3 wickets; 18 overs; 78 mins) 	187 	(10.38 runs per over)

Did not bat: RJ Nicol, JEC Franklin, NL McCullum, JDP Oram, DAJ Bracewell, GW Aldridge, LJ Woodcock

Fall of wickets: 1-120 (BB McCullum, 11.1 ov), 2-172 (Guptill, 16.2 ov), 3-187 (Taylor, 17.6 ov)

Bowling 	O 	M 	R 	W 	Econ 		
CB Mpofu 	4 	0 	40 	0 	10.00 	(3w) 	
KM Jarvis 	4 	0 	36 	2 	9.00 	(2nb) 	
RW Price 	4 	0 	34 	0 	8.50 	(1w) 	
E Chigumbura 	2 	0 	17 	0 	8.50 	(1w) 	
P Utseya 	3 	0 	45 	0 	15.00 	(1nb) 	
CJ Chibhabha 	1 	0 	9 	0 	9.00 		


Zimbabwe innings (target: 189 runs from 18 overs) 	
                                                R 	M 	B 	4s 	6s 	SR
H Masakadza 	c †BB McCullum b Bracewell 	9 	8 	5 	2 	0 	180.00
CJ Chibhabha 	st †BB McCullum b NL McCullum 	65 	56 	39 	4 	5 	166.66
BRM Taylor* 	b Aldridge 	                1 	5 	5 	0 	0 	20.00
E Chigumbura 	c & b NL McCullum 	        39 	24 	22 	4 	2 	177.27
CK Coventry 	c & b NL McCullum 	        0 	1 	2 	0 	0 	0.00
F Mutizwa† 	run out (Oram/†BB McCullum) 	22 	37 	17 	2 	0 	129.41
MN Waller 	c Taylor b Oram 	        12 	8 	6 	2 	0 	200.00
P Utseya 	not out 	                2 	7 	2 	0 	0 	100.00
RW Price 	run out (†BB McCullum/Oram) 	0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0.00
KM Jarvis 	c †BB McCullum b Bracewell 	0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0.00
CB Mpofu 	c Aldridge b Bracewell 	        0 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0.00
	Extras 	(lb 3, w 1) 	                4 					
	Total 	(all out; 16.5 overs; 73 mins) 	154 	(9.14 runs per over)

Fall of wickets: 1-24 (Masakadza, 2.2 ov), 2-27 (Taylor, 3.4 ov), 3-84 (Chigumbura, 9.3 ov), 
4-84 (Coventry, 9.5 ov), 5-125 (Chibhabha, 13.5 ov), 6-149 (Waller, 15.4 ov), 
7-154 (Mutizwa, 16.2 ov), 8-154 (Price, 16.3 ov), 9-154 (Jarvis, 16.4 ov), 
10-154 (Mpofu, 16.5 ov)

Bowling 	O 	M 	R 	W 	Econ 		
DAJ Bracewell 	3.5 	0 	25 	3 	6.52 		
GW Aldridge 	4 	0 	45 	1 	11.25 		
JDP Oram 	3 	0 	27 	1 	9.00 	(1w) 	
LJ Woodcock 	2 	0 	20 	0 	10.00 		
NL McCullum 	3 	0 	23 	3 	7.66 		
RJ Nicol 	1 	0 	11 	0 	11.00 		

Match details
Toss: Zimbabwe, who chose to field
Series: New Zealand won the 2-match series 2-0
T20I debut: GW Aldridge (New Zealand)
Player of the match: MJ Guptill (New Zealand)