New Zealand Seal ODI Series With 2nd ODI Win

The Blackcaps sealed the three-match series against Zimbabwe with a game to spare. Ignited by a high quality 146 from opener Rob Nicol, the New Zealanders racked up a formidable 372 for six at Cobham Oval in Whangarei before completing victory by a crushing margin of 141 runs. The third highest one-day score on record for the New Zealanders proved far too much for Zimbabwe, who responded with 231 for eight as the Blackcaps took a 2-0 lead into the third and final match at Napier on Thursday.

After rain delayed the start by 35 minutes Zimbabwe had the better of the early exchanges when only 10 runs came from the opening five overs. But that was as good as it got for the tourists because it was then all New Zealand as Nicol and Martin Guptill set the tone with an excellent first wicket stand of 131 inside 24 overs. Guptill was in imperious touch before his fourth consecutive one-day half-century ended on 77 when he drilled a ball from spinner Ray Price to mid wicket where Shingirai Masakadza took a fine catch on the run just inside the boundary rope.

Guptill was again clinically efficient as he dominated the early scoring to such a degree that the team’s 50 came with Nicol on nine, but the latter began hitting his straps then had the luxury of biding his time when the home side promoted Jacob Oram from No 8 to first drop and called for the batting power play from overs 25 through 29. The 33-year-old left-hander responded with his first half-century since the 2009-10 season, striking 35 of the 44 runs scored during the power play before reaching his 50 off only 23 balls. He performed his pinch hitting role to perfection to plunder 59 off 28, with five fours and four sixes, before holing out seeking more after having delivered a blunt reminder of his enduring quality with bat in hand.

Nicol, in just his fifth one-day international, raised his second century at the top level during an excellent fifth wicket stand of 92 with 19-year-old Tom Latham before hitting four more sixes to lift his haul to six to go alongside 10 fours. Two of the maximum strikes were audaciously played, when he fetched a ball well outside off from Elton Chigumbura and planted it over square leg, which was the same destination for a sweetly timed flick off his pads. With runs flowing at the other end for a large portion of his 134-ball stay Nicol rotated the strike and paced his innings nicely before departing when on the charge in the 49th over with the fifth highest one-day score by a New Zealander.

Latham, too, prospered after being dropped on 14, and showed impeccable timing and an ability to invent as he hit five fours and two sixes in a 28-ball 48 before falling in the final over. The last five overs produced 86 runs, 25 of them coming in the 48th from seamer Kyle Jarvis.

Zimbabwe, who lost the opening match of the series by 90 runs in Dunedin, were always up against it despite Cobham Oval presently an excellent batting strip offering consistent pace and bounce. The exercise quickly became an academic one as Zimbabwe’s top order frailties were again exploited, with Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and Oram combining to immediately extinguish any hopes the tourists had of at least challenging the hosts.

Just as he did in Dunedin, Mills collected two top order wickets, including captain Brendan Taylor, who fell to a top edge as the visitors took another walk down Struggle Street at 17 for three after 6.5 overs. They could not find their way to safer ground either as Oram backed up his performance with the bat to remove Regis Chakabva leg before wicket and Malcolm Waller to an edge behind. At 62 for five, Zimbabwe were out of the contest, which they acknowledged as Tatenda Taibu and Chigumbura contented themselves with pitch occupation as the 100 was raised in the 30th over before Taibu found the boundary for the first time after facing 67 deliveries.

Taibu at least had the satisfaction of finding some form in making 50 off 76 balls while allrounder Chigumbura was more aggressive in making a 69-ball 63 containing seven fours and one six. These two collaborated in a face-saving 80-run partnership which was broken when Taibu slapped a long hop from offspinner Nicol straight to long off. Chigumbura followed soon afterwards when bowled by Oram, who completed an outstanding match double by taking three for 29 off his 10 overs.

Shingirai Masakadza, with a brisk 38, and Prosper Utseya, 27 not out, saw Zimbabwe past 200 with a stand of 64 for the eighth wicket but the only consolation for the visitors was the fact they managed to see out their 50 overs. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 372/6 (50 overs; Nicol 146, Utseya 3/71), Zimbabwe 231/8 (50 overs; Chigumbura 63, Oram 3/29). New Zealand win by 141 runs.
[Match report via ZC / NZC]

New Zealand innings (50 overs maximum) 	
                                                R 	M 	B 	4s 	6s 	SR
RJ Nicol 	c SW Masakadza b Utseya 	146 	198 	134 	10 	6 	108.95
MJ Guptill 	c SW Masakadza b Price 	        77 	93 	80 	8 	2 	96.25
JDP Oram 	c Chakabva b H Masakadza 	59 	35 	28 	5 	4 	210.71
BB McCullum*† 	c SW Masakadza b Utseya 	20 	23 	18 	1 	1 	111.11
KS Williamson 	c H Masakadza b Utseya 	        4 	7 	8 	0 	0 	50.00
TWM Latham 	b SW Masakadza          	48 	41 	28 	5 	2 	171.42
DG Brownlie 	not out 	                2 	7 	2 	0 	0 	100.00
AM Ellis 	not out 	                7 	2 	2 	0 	1 	350.00
	Extras 	(b 1, lb 1, w 7) 	        9 					
	Total 	(6 wickets; 50 overs; 206 mins) 372 	(7.44 runs per over)

Did not bat: TS Nethula, KD Mills, TG Southee

Fall of wickets: 1-131 (Guptill, 23.4 ov), 2-208 (Oram, 32.4 ov), 3-246 (McCullum, 38.3 ov), 
4-261 (Williamson, 40.6 ov), 5-353 (Nicol, 48.5 ov), 6-364 (Latham, 49.3 ov)

Bowling 	O 	M 	R 	W 	Econ 		
SW Masakadza 	8 	1 	68 	1 	8.50 	(2w) 	
KM Jarvis 	9 	1 	73 	0 	8.11 		
P Utseya 	10 	0 	71 	3 	7.10 		
E Chigumbura 	8 	0 	55 	0 	6.87 	(4w) 	
RW Price 	10 	0 	67 	1 	6.70 	(1w) 	
H Masakadza 	5 	0 	36 	1 	7.20 		


Zimbabwe innings (target: 373 runs from 50 overs) 	
                                                R 	M 	B 	4s 	6s 	SR
H Masakadza 	c Brownlie b Southee 	        5 	6 	8 	0 	0 	62.50
S Matsikenyeri 	c Ellis b Mills 	        3 	18 	9 	0 	0 	33.33
RW Chakabva 	lbw b Oram 	                11 	49 	33 	0 	0 	33.33
BRM Taylor* 	c †McCullum b Mills 	        4 	10 	8 	0 	0 	50.00
T Taibu† 	c Nethula b Nicol 	        50 	114 	76 	1 	0 	65.78
MN Waller 	c †McCullum b Oram 	        18 	25 	23 	2 	0 	78.26
E Chigumbura 	b Oram 	                        63 	75 	69 	7 	1 	91.30
P Utseya 	not out 	                27 	58 	43 	2 	0 	62.79
SW Masakadza 	c Ellis b Williamson 	        38 	42 	31 	3 	2 	122.58
RW Price 	not out 	                0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	-
	Extras 	(lb 4, w 8) 	                12 					
	Total 	(8 wickets; 50 overs; 203 mins) 231 	(4.62 runs per over)

Did not bat: KM Jarvis

Fall of wickets: 1-5 (H Masakadza, 1.4 ov), 2-12 (Matsikenyeri, 4.2 ov), 3-17 (Taylor, 6.5 ov), 
4-35 (Chakabva, 13.3 ov), 5-62 (Waller, 19.1 ov), 6-142 (Taibu, 35.3 ov), 7-167 (Chigumbura, 39.1 ov), 
8-231 (SW Masakadza, 49.5 ov)

Bowling 	O 	M 	R 	W 	Econ 		
KD Mills 	8 	1 	27 	2 	3.37 		
TG Southee 	10 	0 	50 	1 	5.00 	(4w) 	
JDP Oram 	10 	1 	29 	3 	2.90 	(2w) 	
TS Nethula 	10 	0 	55 	0 	5.50 		
RJ Nicol 	4 	0 	25 	1 	6.25 		
AM Ellis 	5 	0 	25 	0 	5.00 	(2w) 	
KS Williamson 	3 	0 	16 	1 	5.33 		

Match details
Toss: Zimbabwe, who chose to field
Series: New Zealand led the 3-match series 2-0
ODI debut: TS Nethula (New Zealand)
Player of the match: RJ Nicol (New Zealand)