New Zealand became only the 3rd team to win a T20 International chasing 200+, and in the process dashed Zimbabwe's chances of salvaging a consolation win from their disastrous Kiwi tour. Batting first, Zimbabwe has reached an impressive 200/2, with Brendan Taylor (75* off 43 balls) and Hamilton Masakadza (62 off 42) both claiming fifties - by far the most impressive batting performance of the tour, and a score that in most T20 matches would have been enough to secure victory. But New Zealand have been dominant all tour, and weren't about to lie down - especially when they'd already proven in the preceding matches that they had the mark of the Zimbabwean bowlers.
To their credit, they kept the Kiwi run rate to around the required rate for the full innings, and took their chances when they came - a remarkable direct-hit throw from the boundary saw Keegan Meth claim James Franklin's scalp by runout after he'd top-scored for NZ with 60 (from 37 balls); Elton Chigumbura struck on his first ball to remove Nicol while also taking the scalp of former Zimbabwean Colin de Grandhomme (who also found himself on the receiving end of some "comments" from a chatty Ray Price; and Kyle Jarvis took 2 wicketes in 2 balls in the penultimate over to put some late pressure on the home side. But Taylor's tactic of changing bowlers almost ever over never seemed to gain much in the way of results - and handing the ball to Shingi Masakadza in the final over with NZ requiring 14 to win when Shingi had only bowled 1 other over in the match (which went for 16) seemed risky. Sure enough, two fours and a six later the match was over, and Zimbabwe were left to rue how close it had been. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 200/2 (20 overs; Taylor 75*, Hira 1/31), New Zealand 202/5 (19.4 overs; Franklin 60, Chigumbura 2/23). New Zealand win by 5 wickets.
Zimbabwe are still without a win on this tour, and still facing an inquiry into their performances when they get back home, but the first T20 international against New Zealand finally saw some fight - at least from Hamilton Masakadza (53 from 36 balls) and Elton Chigumbura (48 from 24 balls), who helped see their side to a halfway-respectable 159/8 from their 20 overs. It wasn't enough, unfortunately, as the usual bowling woes that this series has seen allowed New Zealand to chase the target with time to spare - with Guptill (91* off 54 balls) carrying his bat for the innings, no Zimbabwean bowler went for less that 8.5/over, and Jarvis - the only wicket-taker - went for over 10/over. Hardly impressive, but credit for there finally being some promising signs. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 159/8 (20 overs; H Masakadza 53, Bates 3/31), New Zealand 160/3 (16.5 overs; Guptill 91*, Jarvis 2/32. New Zealand win by 7 wickets.
Zimbabwe-born substitute fielder Colin de Grandhomme helped heap further humiliation on his former countrymates in the 3rd and final ODI between Zimbabwe and New Zealand, as Zimbabwe slumped to a 202-run loss - the largest margin of the series. Led by Brendan McCullum's 88-ball 119, the home side reached a massive 373/8 in their 50 overs, treating the Zimbabwean "attack", further blunted no doubt by the demoralising effect of this series, with complete disdain. In reply, Zimbabwe could muster only 171 before they were bowled out, with Brendan Taylor (65) being the only stand-out performance in another pitiful display. de Grandhomme played a part in three of the wickets, catching both Taylor and Tatenda Taibu and contributing to the run-out of Malcolm Waller. Zimbabwe's players and fans will be glad the ODI portion of the tour is over - but there are still two T20 Internationals to come, which could yet heap further ignominy on the side. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 373/3 (50 overs; M McCullum 119, Jarvis 2/58), Zimbabwe 171 (44 overs; Taylor 65, Williamson 2/13). New Zealand win by 202 runs.
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]
Zimbabwe would have been reasonably satisfied as their bowlers restricted New Zealand to 248 all out just short of their 50 overs thanks in the main to the lion hearted Shingirai Masakadza who used the over head conditions and changes of pace magnificently as he claimed a career best 4-46.
249 was always going to be a tall order on a bowler friendly wicket and losing the top three batsmen with just 15 runs on the board meant that Zimbabwe were always going to be hard pressed to get to a total of respectability and there is no doubt that some supporters would have had visions of another collapse similar to the first innings disaster of 51. However, Brendan Taylor continued his remarkable form against New Zealand as he passed 50 for the fourth consecutive time against New Zealand in one day international cricket before holding out to long on for a fluent 58, which included one of the biggest struck sixes seen at the ground.
But Taylor had no real support from the top and middle order as Tatenda Taibu got a start but then got out for 20 and when Malcolm Waller and Elton Chigumbura followed for 12 and 15 respectively, the writing was on the wall. Had it not been for Raymond Price who frustrated the black caps by scoring an unbeaten 26 batting at number 10, the visitor's total would have been appalling.
This was another disappointment for the men in red but one has to single out Shingirai Masakadza who's 'never say die' attitude along with a fierce desire to take wickets for his country shows that passion and pride are still a part of the team. One can only hope that the young man’s energy and enthusiasm will rub off on the rest of the team. It would also be well advised to seriously consider preparing pitches with more pace and bounce back home which will not only benefit and improve techniques of the countries batsmen, but will also encourage fast bowling instead of the flat and unresponsive pitches currently been used. It would be very disappointing to be in the same boat as teams from the sub-continent who thrive in their home conditions but more often than not flatter to deceive when going on tour. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 248 (48.3 overs; Guptill 70, S Masakadza 4/46), Zimbabwe 158 (41.1 overs; Taylor 58, Nicol 4/19). New Zealand win by 90 runs.
[Match report via ZC]
Zimbabwe recorded their largest-ever defeat in Tests against New Zealand at the weekend, losing by an innings and 301 runs on day three - after most of day two had been lost to rain. An innefectual bowling display allowed New Zealand to reach 495/7 before declaring early on day three; the hosts then went on to humiliate Zimbabwe by bowling them out twice in the remainder of the day, first for 51 in the first innings - a new Test low for Zimbabwe, "beating" the 54 they recorded against South Africa in their last away Test - and then for 143 in the second innings, where at least Regis Chakabva (63) discovered some fight to get the score into double-figures. Chris Martin led the bowling figures for New Zealand, taking a combined 8/31 in the match. A beaten and bruised Zimbabwe now move on to the ODI series, which starts at Dunedin on Friday. Full scorecard - which doesn't make for pretty reading - is below the cut.
New Zealand 495/7 decl (123.4 overs; Taylor 122, Watling 102*, Cremer 2/112), Zimbabwe 51 (28.5 overs; Waller 23, Martin 2/5) & 143 (f/o; 48.3 overs; Chakabva 63, Martin 6/26). New Zealand win by an innings and 301 runs.
As usual, the 13-a-side tour match between Zimbabweand and New Zealand XI turned into a bit of practice, mostly for the hosts, before petering out to a draw. NZ XI got off to a shaky start in their first innings, losing two early wickets for 6 runs before the middle order settled and pushed on to 272/7 before declaring; while Zimbabwean's reply, which saw them reach 329 before being bowled out, will have done Regis Chakabva's chances of selection for the Test match no harm - he top-scored with an unbeaten 89. NZ XI seemed to get the measure of the Zimbabwean bowlers in the second innings, though, with only one wicket falling (Bracewell, bowled by Cremer for 26). Four others retired, to see NZ XI reach 274/5 at the close of play, securing the draw. After a good start on the first day, the Zimbabwean camp should be worried by their inability to make breakthroughs in the 2nd innings, and with the one-off Test starting on Thursday, there's not much time to work out the problem. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand XI 272/7d (73.5 overs; Watling 84, S Masakadza 2/36) & 274/5 (62 overs; van Wyk 61, Cremer 1/56), Zimbabweans 329 (107 overs; Chakabva 87*, Wagner 3/86). Match drawn.
Zimbabwe's final match in the U19 Tri-series was against Pakistan, who have so far been the form team of the tournament - and they again proved themselves with a thumping 7-wicket win against Zimbabwe. After bowling Zimbabwe out for a poor 138 - only two Zimbabweans reach double-figures - Pakistan raced to the target in 28 overs, losing just three wickets along the way. That ends Zimbabwe's participation in the tournament, in which they remained winless, while Pakistan and South Africa will play one further round-robin match before meeting in the final at the weekend. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 138 (40.5 overs; Masasire 65, Zia-ul-Haq 3/23), Pakistan 139/3 (28 overs; Faraz Ali 68, Nherera 1/11). Pakistan U19 win by 7 wickets.
SA made sure that Zim U19's woeful run in the U19 Tri-series continued, inflicting a 3-wicket defeat on this side in Somerset West. Zimbabwe, batting first, were bowled out for 171 - although Campbell Light's unbeaten 59 did a lot to secure him the man of the match award - but while South Africa didn't exactly race away with the run-chase, Zimbabwe weren't able to claim enough wickets to really put the pressure on, and SA reached the target in the 43rd over. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 171 (43.3 overs; Light 59*, Ngoepe 3/38), South Africa 172/7 (42.1 overs; Bowes 50*, Bowie 3/50). South Africa U19 win by 3 wickets.
Pakistan U19 put on the best batting performance of the tri-series so far to hand Zimbabwe U19 their fourth defeat, putting on a rapid-fire 305 in their 50 overs - which, based on their performances in the tournament so far, was clearly a scare that Zimbabwe would have no chance of catching. Sami Aslam (75) and Babar Azam (71) opened the assault with an opening partnership of 148, and while Zim did manage to claim a few scalps it never seemed to slow Pakistan down. In reply, Zim simply had no answer, and were bowled out for 215 in the 41st over, with Ryan Burl's mid-order 40 being the best score. Full scorecard below the cut.
Pakistan 305/5 (50 overs; Sami Aslam 75, Zimwa 2/67), Zimbabwe 215 (40.3 overs; Burl 40, Ehsan Adil 3/29). Pakistan U19 win by 90 runs.