New Zealand claimed victory in the first ODI against Zimbabwe, defeating them by 90 runs at Dunedin.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill made a quick-fire 70 runs from 66 deliveries and was backed up with decent scores by the rest of the middle order.
Guptill, who picked up the Man of the Match award for his batting spectacle, said: “I am happy with my score but I need to convert the fifty into a hundred.”
Shingi Masakadza was the star of the Zimbabwean bowlers, picking up four wickets for 46 runs.
Set a mediocre total of 249 to win, Zimbabwe got off to a rocky start, losing three early wickets with only 15 runs on the board.
However the tourist’s skipper Brendan Taylor settled in and played sensibly to make 58 runs off 68 balls before Zimbabwe were bowled out for 158.
New Zealand’s Rob Nicol was the pick of the bowlers’ as he claimed four wickets, while giving away just 19 runs.
Captain Taylor said: “We just weren’t good enough today, we’ll go back to the drawing board with the batting and a few areas with the ball, but we were just outplayed by a better side.”
New Zealand went into the match with three ODI debutants, Dean Brownlie, Andrew Ellis and Tom Latham, in an attempt to test the skill of their younger stars.
Captain Brendon McCullum, who was especially impressed with Ellis’s performance, which included a 33 run batting display and a wicket, said: “I thought he was outstanding with the ball. And smart with the bat.”
McCullum was partially satisfied with the teams’ performance, but stated that there were still improvements to be made. “248 was a good total on a pitch that was a bit two paced… there are some improvements needed in the batting.”
New Zealand now lead the three match series 1-0, with the second ODI to be played in Whangarei on the 6th of February.