Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand batsman George Worker had a debut to remember as he smashed a quickfire 62 to help the Black Caps demolish Zimbabwe by 80 runs in the one-off Twenty20 International in Harare.
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura would have been mulling over his decision to bowl first as Worker was well supported by a majority of the other batsmen, who all chipped in with small, but valuable scores.
Despite getting off to a slow start, Worker slowly built up his confidence and soon wreaked havoc on the Zimbabwe bowling attack as he smashed them to all parts of the ground.
Thanks to Worker’s superb knock of 62, which came off 38 balls and included three boundaries and four sixes, New Zealand finished on 198/5 off their 20 overs.
Sean Williams was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Graeme Cremer and Taurai Muzarabani chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 199 to win, none of the Zimbabwe’s batsmen, with the exception of Craig Ervine, failed to have an impact.
Ervine managed to make 42 off 46 deliveries, which included four boundaries, while Williams and wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva were the only other batsmen to reach double figures. As a result, Zimbabwe ended up falling well short of their target as they were restricted to 118/8 off their 20 overs.
Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenaghan took two wickets apiece, while James Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Grant Elliott and Nathan McCullum claimed one wicket each.
Chigumbura was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “It wasn’t a good day, especially with the bat. The way we lost wickets, that’s where we lost it. It was a good wicket to bat on, but we didn’t back it up with the bat. We need to polish up what went wrong in the next five weeks, and hopefully we’ll do better against Pakistan.”
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was delighted to have won, and said: “The way the boys batted today was outstanding, special mention to George Worker on his debut. Overall the bowling performance was our best of the series. Early wickets, Adam Milne back, that’s good to see. We’ve progressed nicely, Zimbabwe have played good cricket, and it’s been a competitive series. Always nice to contribute, we always preach to the guys to commit to a role in the team, and that’s what I try to do.”
Worker was named Man of the Match, and said: “Nice and pleasing, good to put a good performance together. Started off a bit shaky, kept my head for a little bit, nice to contribute. All the boys made it really easy for me to fit in, I was relaxed out there. It’s a pleasure to be here, and it’s been a great tour of Zimbabwe, thoroughly enjoyed our time here.”