New Zealand secure place in Super Eights
New Zealand cruised to a 9 wicket Duckworth Lewis victory over Zimbabwe to secure there place in the Super Eight stage of the Twenty20 World Cup after bowling out Zimbabwe for just 84 runs.
With such a small total to chase the Kiwis got off to a slow start taking no risks as Nathan McCullum and Jesse Ryder worked the gaps to pick up singles.
With dark clouds heading towards the stadium tension start to mount after the Kiwis fell behind the project Duckworth Lewis score after Ryder (2) was caught by wicket keeper Tatenda Taibu.
With rain circling the ground McCullum upped the pace by hitting a boundary and a paddle-scoop shot for 3 in the 4th over to move the Kiwis ahead of the required rate.
The paddle-scoop enabled McCullum to become the first player to score a thousand runs in Twenty20 International cricket at an average of 29.03 having played 35 games for the Kiwis in the shortest format of the game.
McCullum and Martin Guptill then proceeded to see out the next 3 overs scoring at a run a ball before play was halted as the rain finally reached the stadium at the start of the 8th over.
After a delay of an hour play was scheduled to get under way with New Zealand needing another 4 runs from 11 balls but with further delays getting the covers off the pitch the game was officially ended meaning the Kiwis recorded an easy 9 wicket victory.
Earlier having won the toss; New Zealand took 9 wickets in the space of 9 overs as the Kiwis fought back after Zimbabwe had scored 54 runs during the power play over to take control of the game bowling out Zimbabwe for just 84.
Zimbabwe got off to a positive start with openers Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza enjoying a solid against the spin of Nathan McCullum.
Despite suffering a disappointing defeat against Sri Lanka yesterday the openers started in a positive manner with Masakadza fidning the boundary from third ball of the innings.
The pair’s partnership proved useful but before they could progress any further Jacob Oram struck to remove Taibu (21). The opener miss judge a perfect slow bouncer and after playing his shot too early the ball was hit up in the air to Tim Southee at square leg.
The loss of Taibu wasn’t a major concern for Zimbabwe thanks to Masakadza who continued his good start to help Zimbabwe reach 54-1 after the first six overs.
After winning the toss the pressure was now on the Kiwis; Zimbabwe were full of confidence having scored a formidable 54 runs during the power play overs but New Zealand fought back as Zimbabwe’s middle order collapse.
The turning point in the game was the wicket Masakadza; having reached 20 the opener was full of confidence playing freely but when he was run out by Oram New Zealand quickly took control of the game.
At this point Zimbabwe had been reduced to 58-2 after 6.4 overs. However Andy Blignaut (8), Elton Chigumbura (3), Charles Coventry (0) and Craig Ervine (1) all followed in the space of 11 balls to reduce Zimbabwe to 63-6.
Greg Lamb (14) offered some resistant’s as he halted the slide temporarily but the same couldn’t be said for his teammates as Timycen Maruma (4), Graeme Creamer (0), Prosper Utseya (2) and Ray Price (2) were all dismissed tamely to leave Zimbabwe 84 all out.
After such a good start, Zimbabwe had no answer to the slow bowling of McCullum, Daniel Vettori and Scott Styris collapsing in the space of 10 overs scoring on 26 runs to leave New Zealand on the verge of the Super Eights.