Image courtesy of: 3news.co.nz
New Zealand’s opening duo of Martin Guptill and Tom Latham both scored centuries to lead their side to a convincing 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second ODI in Harare.
The 10-wicket win was the perfect reply for the Black Caps, especially after they were stunned by seven wickets in the first ODI.
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura would have been regretting his decision to bat first as batsman Sikandar Raza was the only batsman to make a major contribution as he scored an unbeaten 100, which came off 95 balls and included five boundaries and four sixes.
The only other Zimbabwean batsman to have some sort of impact was opener Chamu Chibhabha, who made 42. As a result, Zimbabwe were restricted to 235/9 off their 50 overs.
Ish Sodhi was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Grant Elliott snapped up two and Nathan McCullum and Mitchell McClenaghan claimed one wicket each.
Chasing 236 to win, Guptill and Latham broke the record for New Zealand’s highest partnership while chasing in an ODI as they finished the job themselves with an unbeaten 236-run stand, during which Guptill brought up his eighth ODI century and Latham his first.
Guptill ended up finishing on 116 off 138 balls, which included 11 boundaries and a six, while Latham remained undefeated on a career-best 110, which came off 116 deliveries and included seven boundaries and two sixes.
None of the Zimbabwe bowlers were able to take a wicket.
Chigumbura was not impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “We are disappointed. We lost too many wickets up front, Williams and Raza brought it back for us. But 236 wasn’t good enough. I thought it was a good wicket to bat on. If we get the chance, we need to make sure we are ruthless.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was ecstatic to have levelled the series at 1-1, and said: “Much-improved effort. The tone was set early on with the ball, the fielding effort was much better and we pride ourselves on that, which wasn’t there last game. We need to play our best cricket again on Friday. You want to improve all the time, which is great for learning too.”
Guptill and Latham shared the Man of the Match award, with the former saying: “It is tough early on actually, but when you brush that off, it is easier to bat on. Happy for Latham.”
Latham added: “Happy to get the monkey off the back. Struggled a bit at the start but when we got through that, we knocked it off in 10-run blocks.”