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Black Caps keep Zimbabwe wins in perspective

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AUCKLAND — New Zealand continued their humiliation of touring Zimbabwe at Eden Park Saturday night with a seven wicket Twenty20 (T20) victory to go with their Test win by an innings and 301 runs and 3-0 one-day series whitewash.

And while against most other teams in world cricket it would be cause to celebrate, there is a distinct feeling among the public the poor performances offered by Zimbabwe will have done little more than give the Black Caps inflated egos.

Zimbabwe improved to some extent with the bat with Hamilton Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura ensuring the tourists posted a competitive 159 for eight batting first in the opening T20 match against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.

Masakadza blasted 53 off 36 balls at the top of the innings and Chigumbura finished off at the tail end with 48 off 24 deliveries to contribute the bulk of the Zimbabwe runs.

However, like in all matches they have played so far, Alan Butchers’ men were still woeful in the field with misfields and extras continuing to let them down.

However, stand-in skipper Brendon McCullum told reporters after the match they remain realistic about the standard they will have to reach if they are to avoid getting a taste of their own medicine from the Proteas.

Even so, he said he was pleased with the clinical nature of the performances against Zimbabwe.

“We acknowledge that it may not be the greatest lead, but at the same time we’re playing what’s in front of us and we can only control the aspects we’re in control of and I think we’re doing those very well at the moment,” McCullum said.

“We know that we’re going to be tested a lot more in a lot of different areas across the board in a week’s time.

“We’re not the finished product by any means, but I expect us to step up when the South Africans arrive, so I guess time will tell how we do.”

The Black Caps have one more chance to tune up for that challenge with the final T20 against Zimbabwe in Hamilton tomorrow. McCullum said anything other than more of the same will be a disappointment.

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