Waller Takes Zimbabwe To Dramatic Victory
Zimbabwe 329-9 (Waller 99no, B Taylor 75) beat
New Zealand 328-5 (R Taylor 119) by one wicket
Third One-Day International, Bulawayo
Malcolm Waller hit an unbeaten 99 in 74 balls as Zimbabwe recorded their highest successful run chase to beat New Zealand by one wicket with one ball of the third and final One-Day International remaining in Bulawayo.
In a high-scoring game, twin centuries from Ross Taylor, who made 119, and Kane Williamson, whose 100 came from just 69 balls, were not enough for New Zealand, who nevertheless clinched the series 2-1.
Waller faced 74 balls, hitting ten fours and a six to follow up half-centuries from Brendan Taylor (75) and Tatenda Taibu (53) to hand Zimbabwe an impressive win.
New Zealand were hurt badly by dropped chances with Taylor uncharacteristically missing two simple chances in the final over alone as Zimbabwe held their nerve.
New Zealand had done exceptionally well to score as many as they did having been reduced to 41 for three early on as Njabulo Ncube marked his ODI debut with the wickets of Rob Nicol (14) and Brendon McCullum (18) while BJ Watling was run out before facing a ball.
Taylor led the recovery with 119 in 126 balls, putting on 83 with Jesse Ryder, who made a scratchy but vital 53 and it was Williamson who added the fireworks with 11 fours and a six en route ato a second ODI century.
Ncube bowled Taylor to return figures of three for 69 while Waller caught and bowled Ryder (as well as running out Watling).
Zimbabwe also made a poor start with Nathan McCullum having Vusi Sibanda caught by Brendon McCullum without scoring but they were revived by Hamilton Masakadza's 36 and then half-centuries from Brendan Taylor and Taibu.
Taylor faced 65 balls, hitting seven fours and two sixes while Taibu faced just 39 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and two maximums.
Andy McKay dismissed both men and when Forster Mutizwa fell without scoring to Nicol, the pressure was back on the home side but they hit back with Waller and Elton Chigumbura sharing a partnership of 112 for the sixth wicket.
Chigumbura played his part by hitting three fours and three sixes before his dismissal, at the end of the 44th over, eft Waller batting with the lower order and plenty of work to do.
Luke Woodcock removed Keegan Meth (0) and Natsai Mushangwe (7) but Waller kept hitting the boundaries, including two from two balls from Graeme Aldridge's final over to ensure Zimbabwe were still in the game heading to the final over.
Waller then offered Taylor chances from the first two balls off Jacob Oram but instead of being dismissed, picked up three runs. Ray Price was dismissed, caught by Brendon McCullum but after the batsmen crossed, Waller hit the winning run through the covers.
Waller was named as the man of the match and Brendan Taylor the man of the series for his two unbeaten centuries and the two sides now turn their attention to the Test match which begins on 1st November.
© Cricket World 2011