New Zealand too good for Zimbabwe in lone T20I
New Zealand 198-5 (Worker 62) beat
Zimbabwe 118-8 (Ervine 42) by 80 runs
Only Twenty20 International, Harare
George Worker smashed a sensational half-century on debut as New Zealand hammered Zimbabwe by 80 runs in the solitary Twenty20 International between the two teams at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bowl first. Kane Williamson (20) started off in style striking three consecutive fours in the first over from Prosper Utseya (0-30).
Williamson survived a run out in the next over when a direct hit was not referred to the third umpire, even though he was marginally short.
Taurai Muzarbani (1-34) eventually got Williamson as New Zealand reached a solid 49 for one after six overs.
Worker (62) started slowly, scoring just five of his first 10 balls before hammering Chamu Chibhabha (0-18) for 17 in one over including two fours and a six.
New Zealand managed 87 for two after 10 overs but were losing their way when Grant Elliott (8) fell cheaply in the 12th over.
Worker hit 21 in the next seven balls he faced to get to his half-century in just 33 balls.
By the time his 38-ball knock ended New Zealand had managed a healthy 142 for four after 16 overs.
The team managed 56 more runs in the next four overs thanks to cameos from Luke Ronchi (29) and Colin Munro (23 not out) who struck three fours and a six in his 11-ball knock.
Nathan McCullum (18 not out) helped his team finish on a high hitting the first three balls of the final over for two fours and a six reaching 198 for five after 20 overs.
Sean Williams (3-28) was the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe, striking at crucial points.
Zimbabwe’s chase was hit hard early when they lost Hamilton Masakadza (6) in the third over.
Craig Ervine (42) was then dropped off the first ball he faced off Adam Milne (2-10) by Ronchi.
But wickets fell at the other end as Zimbabwe could only manage 28 for three after six overs, Mitchell McClenaghan (2-33) getting in-form Sikandar Raza (8) after Chibhabha (6) lost his stumps to James Neesham (1-21).
They lost their skipper Elton Chigumbura (2) in the seventh over eventually reaching 50 for four after 10 overs.
Williams (16) was dropped as well by Ish Sodhi (1-15) off his own bowling but Sodhi made amends later with another caught and bowled opportunity provided by Williams later.
Zimbabwe managed 84 for five after 15 overs but requiring 115 off the next 30 balls left them with not much of a chance.
They managed just 34. Ervine top scored but couldn’t get the big overs, scoring at a strike rate of less than 100.
Zimbabwe finished on 118 for eight in their 20 overs falling short by a massive 80 runs.
Milne was spectacular with an unusual T20 economy rate of 2.5. Worker was named as the man of the match while Ervine became man of the series which included performances from the One-Day Internationals as well.
© Cricket World 2015