After disappointing their fans in the last two ODIs, the Zimbabwe national cricket team sought a flourishing finish to this tour by New Zealand in the one-off T-20 at Harare Sports Club yesterday, but all they provided to their loyal army of supporters was more despair and dejection after succumbing to a 80-run defeat.
BY KEVIN MAPASURE
Once Elton Chigumbura won the toss and decided to ball, everything else went the way of the tourists who dominated from start to finish.
The fans played their part, but this team has just made Harare Sports Club a dungeon of despair.
New Zealand batted with purpose and set Zimbabwe a winning target of 199 from 20 overs with Geroge Worker scoring 68
But, not long after Zimbabwe had started their run chase the game had already slipped away and any hope or thought of them winning the match had extinguished.
At 6,6 overs Zimbabwe were down to 34-4 with Chamu Chibhabha (6), Hamilton Masakadza (6), Sikandar Raza Butt (8) and Elton Chigumbura (2) all back in the pavilion.
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There was no way back from that and it was a matter of trying to get as close to the New Zealand total.
Only Craig Ervine offered some form of resistance with 42 runs and there was little from everyone else.
Only Sean Williams (16) and Regis Chakabva (13) also made double figures.
Credit is due to the tourists’ bowlers though particularly Adam Milne, who took 2-10 in four overs while Mitchell McClenaghan also took two at the expense of 33 runs. James Neesham, Nathan McCulum, Ish Sodhi and Grant Elliot all took one wicket apiece.
Earlier Zimbabwe had also recorded some successes with the ball. Williams picked up three wickets, but each New Zealand batsman was dismissed after causing their fair share of damage. Worker, making his debut was the most destructive with 68 from just 38 balls where he hit three boundaries and four huge sixes before he was cleaned by Williams.
Kane Williamson opening the batting with Martin Guptil, rode some luck and should have been dismissed through a run out which the umpires did not spot, or ask the tv umpire to deliberate on it. He went on to hit 20 runs from 12 deliveries and it took a great catch by Ervine off Taurai Murazabani’s bowling to see Williamson off.
Guptil followed him back after he was dismissed through the combination of Raza Butt taking the catch and Williams.
That was only after he had milked 34 runs from 24 balls hitting five of them to the fence. Grant Elliot was the only New Zealand batsman who used up more balls than the runs he made with eight off nine balls as the tourists set up an imposing total.