Debutants Shine As New Zealand Beat Zimbabwe
New Zealand 232-1 (Nicol 108no) beat
Zimbabwe 231 (Taylor 128no) by nine wickets
First One-Day International, Harare
Rob Nicol marked his One-Day International debut with an unbeaten century as New Zealand handed Zimbabwe a nine-wicket thrashing in the first game in Harare.
Brendan Taylor had earlier stroked a fine century to rescue Zimbabwe from an earlier collapse but their score of 231 all out proved woefully inadequate against a rampant New Zealand outfit.
Nicol was unbeaten on 108 and Martin Guptill made 74 as the Black Caps reached their target in 43.3 overs.
Zimbabwe did well to reach 231 after they were reduced to 21 for four early on having won the toss when New Zealand's other debutant Doug Bracewell (3-55) had Vusi Sibanda (5) and Chamu Chibhabha (6) caught by Brendon McCullum and then bowled Hamilton Masakadza for an 11-ball duck.
Tatenda Taibu was dismissed for four when he was caught by Kane Williamson off James Franklin for four to leave Zimbabwe in disarray.
Taylor then joined forces with Forster Mutizwa (69) to take the score on to 177 before New Zealand struck again, Mutizwa's fourth half-century ending when Franklin had him caught by McCullum.
Taylor stood firm, hitting seven fours and five sixes in an excellent 120-ball innings that at least gave his side some hope of competing for victory.
However, New Zealand were taking no prisoners as Nicol and Guptill put n a 153-run stand for the opening wicket to all but end the game as a contest.
Guptill hit five fours and two sixes in 97 balls while Nicol hit 11 fours, and with McCullum unbeaten on 39 in 35 balls at the other end, hit the winning runs to cap a dream first day as an ODI cricketer.
The second game in the three-match series is on 22nd October.
© Cricket World 2011