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Zimbabwe vs New Zealand 2nd ODI 2015 Article

Cricket Articles - Zimbabwe vs New Zealand 2nd ODI 2015

Read the articles of Zimbabwe vs New Zealand 2nd ODI 2015 - New Zealand tour of Zimbabwe 3-match one-day international series of the 2nd ODI match played between New Zealand and Zimbabwe at Harare in 04th August 2015.

Stunning Centuries from Martin Guptill and Tom Latham led New Zealand emphatic ten-wicket victory over Zimbabwe to level the ODI series 1-1 in the three-match series.

This match reported by Karthik Krishnaswamy (Third Party Reference from Espncricinfo)

New Zealand chased 236 for 0 (Martin Guptill 116*, Tom Latham 110*) Zimbabwe scored 235 for 9 (Sikandar Raza 100*, Ish Sodhi 3-38)

Fresh from the highs of Sunday's opening-game chase, Zimbabwe plummeted to the lows of 68 for 5 before Sikandar Raza's third ODI hundred ensured they saw out 50 overs and reached a total of 235. It looked a fighting total at that point, but it proved entirely inadequate, as New Zealand's openers gunned down the total all by themselves, against a modest attack on a pitch that seemed to have lost all the help it had provided the bowlers in the morning. Tom Latham made his first ODI century, Martin Guptill his eighth, and New Zealand coasted home with 46 balls to spare to level the series 1-1.

The openers began steadily, knowing the target was never going to stretch their side as long as there were wickets in hand. Christopher Mpofu beat Guptill's outside edge early on and struck him on the back thigh, but that was New Zealand's only moment of concern against the new ball. Spin came on in the eighth over, in the form of Sean Williams, and that released any semblance of pressure there may have been, as Guptill crashed two wide long-hops to the cover-point boundary in his first over. Latham swept Williams for another boundary in his next over to take New Zealand to 46 for 0 at the 10-over mark.

The pitch for this match was different to the surface used for the first ODI, and it looked dry enough for Elton Chigumbura to go against Zimbabwe's recent trend of preferring to chase. Having expected assistance for their spinners, though, Zimbabwe may have erred in not picking an extra spinner to support Graeme Cremer. Williams' part-time left-arm orthodox was barely the answer.

Cremer turned a legbreak past Guptill's outside edge with his second ball, but the openers could afford to play him carefully, milk the singles, and wait for the bad ball. From the 11th over to the 20th, they made 43 risk-free runs, with only two boundaries. The change of gears arrived in the next 10 overs, which produced seven fours - including a rasping hit over the umpire that took Guptill past 4000 ODI runs - and a glorious six from Latham, a pick-up shot over wide long-on off Panyangara.

At the 40-over mark, both batsmen had reached three figures and New Zealand only needed 19 to win. Guptill shaved a big chunk off it with a slog-swept six off Cremer, and victory arrived in the next over, in a manner similar to the end of the first ODI. Then, Zimbabwe's win had come up courtesy a Nathan McCullum wide; now it was Williams' turn to return the favour, sliding one a long way down the leg side that neither Latham nor the wicketkeeper could do anything about.

New Zealand had only needed 42.2 overs to chase down their target; they would got there even quicker had it not been for Raza's unbeaten 100. Raza walked in to bat with Zimbabwe in a perilous situation, and rescued them with stands of 60 for the sixth wicket with Williams and 89 with Tinashe Panyangara for the ninth.

He needed a bit of help from New Zealand's fielders, who let him off twice. On 16, he pulled Matt Henry hard but straight towards Latham at deep square leg. The ball just eluded the fielder's fingertips as he leaped backwards, at full-stretch; it would have been a far simpler chance had he stood back on the rope. Raza was on 67 - and Zimbabwe 182 for 8 - when the substitute Ben Wheeler dived forward at cover and dropped him off Kane Williamson.

Including the run he picked up following that drop, Raza made 33 runs off his last 19 balls. With Panyangara weighing in with a few strikes of his own, Zimbabwe made 49 in their last five overs.

At the toss, Williamson said he had found it difficult to predict how pitches at the Harare Sports Club would behave. Accordingly, he shuffled his bowlers around early on, trying to work out how much help each would get. It was quickly apparent there would be something in it for everyone.

There was inconsistent bounce for Mitchell McClenaghan, who bustled in, banged the ball in short, and tested the top order. His bouncer was responsible for Hamilton Masakadza's early dismissal as well as two clanging blows on Craig Ervine's helmet. There was seam movement for Henry, who started with two maidens - one to each opener - and for Grant Elliott, who sneaked one into Ervine to bowl him through the gate, and jagged one away from Chigumbura to have him caught at slip.

There was spin too. Ish Sodhi struck twice in his first four overs, his second wicket coming courtesy a peach of a legbreak that drew Chamu Chibhabha forward, dipped, and turned past his outside edge to leave him overbalanced with his back foot out of his crease. It left Zimbabwe 68 for 5 and sinking without a trace.

Raza showed positive intent from the start, using his feet to the spinners and pulling the quicks when they pitched short. But his partnership with Williams was built mostly through singles - there were 37 in their partnership of 60. It also ended in the pursuit of a single; Raza tucked Williamson into the on side, called Williams out of his crease, but didn't account for Guptill's alert, athletic presence at short midwicket.

Zimbabwe's innings looked liked it would fold at any moment, as Sodhi and McCullum struck in successive overs to leave them eight down in the 37th over. But Raza counter-punched, lofting McCullum for a straight six, paddling Sodhi to the fine-leg boundary, and lifting McClenaghan inside-out over mid-off. Panyangara kept things simple at his end, taking no risks and giving Raza the strike when he could, and slowly grew in confidence, enough to smack Henry straight back over his head when he bowled a slower one right in his slot.

By the time he was run out while trying to sneak a second run off the last ball of the innings, Panyangara had made 33. It was as much as he had scored in his last eight ODI innings put together.