New Zealand Back In Action Post a Thumping Win on Zimbabwe

August 04 22:41 2015

zim1New Delhi, Wednesday, August 5 – New Zealand are back in action after registering a thumping win on Zimbabwe, who won the first One-Day International to let the tourists make no mistake of considering them any weak. It has been lately that a victory of 7 wickets was registered on the Kiwis, who, perhaps, did not take Zimbabwe serious.

Elton Chigumbura’s decision to bat first surprised many but maybe this was taken post keeping in mind their outstanding performance in the first face-off. But soon they were on floor the moment  the opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza was out for a duck despite facing 13 balls. Craig Ervine arrived on the crease. He needed a good partnership with Chamu Chibhabha but failed in this regard after Grant Elliott stunned him with a perfect delivery. A couple of boundaries of his 12 runs in 27 balls were the highlights.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Regis Chakabva and skipper Elton Chigumbura were dismissed early at the scores of 2 and 5 runs, respectively. The former got his legs before wickets while the latter was caught by Ross Taylor on a delivery by Elliott. Sean Williams was run out by Martin Guptill who collected the ball on the dot and ensured it hit the stumps before the batsman touched safe line. It was Sikandar Raza whose wonderful and timely struck 100 runs enabled his teammates put at a respectable score in 50 overs. But the partnership he was looking forward to did not come from Graeme Cremer and Prosper Utseya who were dismissed at 5 runs and a naught, respectively.

But it came at the end thanks to efforts of Tinashe Panyangara, who pocketed 33 runs in 34 balls, including four boundaries. In an attempt to pocket some runs on the last delivery of Zimbabwe’s innings, the last man on the 22 yards pitch lost his wicket. Raza was the man with highest number of sixes in his pocket. He also let the ball to touch the fences 5 times. Crucial 100 runs from him came at a time when others were required to hold the fort and save wickets from falling. His impressive knock could teach a lot many things to the youngsters who want to bring team on track and make winning a habit. At the end, 235 runs were scored for the loss of 9 wickets.

Kiwis unlike the previous contest did not opt for casual approach which was perhaps the biggest factor in their defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe. The opening duo Martin Guptill and Tom Latham who just scored 11 and 14 runs correspondingly at that time were the hero of 2nd ODI.  Zimbabwe were sent on the back foot in the game played a days ago as they strove for wickets right from the beginning but wait to earn these did not end till the last.

The unbeaten partnership between them enabled Kiwis chase the target easily and come out from do-or-die situation. Guptill played a magnificent knock of 116 runs in 138 balls (4 x 11 and 6 x 1), while Latham got 110 runs in 116 balls (4 x 7 and 6 x 2). New Zealand attained the target in 42.2 overs with run rate of 5.59. Zimbabwe skipper tried his best to produce wickets but bowling trick did not do anything good. Chris Mpofu, Tinashe Panyangara, Sean Williams, Graeme Cremer, Prosper Utseya, Sikandar Raza and Hamilton Masakadza couldn’t do any magic with their bowling skills.

The final and decisive match between the two is slated for Thursday, August 7. Both New Zealand and Zimbabwe would leave no stone unturned to earn a triumph at a stage where it is a matter of sealing the series. As of now they share an equal position with 1-1 win apiece, adding interest to the final ODI that might witness cheering crowd. Support for home side is anticipated to be huge at Harare Sports Club, Harare given that the host showed potential of winning and no wonder if the ongoing tournament turns attention-fetching after superb show by Zimbabwe who haven’t won a series from a long time.

Focus of the men in red shirts will be on making best use of experience earned in previous matches and put the same into operation. Playing XIs are confidents and looks forward to make mega fight turn out of the ordinary. Sealing the series by 2-1 is the prime motto of Kiwis and Zimbabwe. The manner New Zealand bounced back a day ago caught the eyes of cricket fans. After all, it is the high spirit and self belief that let a team do something out of the ordinary. As of now, they are enjoying 10-wicket win on Zimbabwe.