Zim lose N Zealand series
ZIMBABWE let another win slip off their hands when they lost the third and final ODI by 38 runs against New Zealand to suffer a 2-1 series loss at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Winning the toss, Zimbabwe put in the tourists to bat first getting 273/6 in their allotted 50 overs a target which they could have easily reached given the way they started after lunch, but they lost too many wicket – some unnecessarily.
In the morning, the Zimbabwe bowl attack led by Graeme Creamer did a wonderful job as he bagged three wickets to finish with figures of 3-44 in his 10 over spell, claiming the scalps of opener Guptill (42), Munro (9) and Elliot (36).
John Nyumbu coming in for Prosper Utseya who was rested for the final game finished with figures of 2-52 in his 10 over spell Latham (16) and Williamson (90 off 109 with eight fours and a six) both falling to him.
Just when the bowlers did well, the batsman failed to come to the party in what was a gettable target, letting the game easily run away from them as they crumbled after opener Chamunorwa Chibhabha (32 off 65) feel to leave his side at 97/1 in the 23rd over.
Masakadza after posting his 29th ODI half century was soon doing so just in the next over, captain Elton Chigumbura did not last long either all three going out in less than 20 runs and were 114-3.
The 45-run fourth wicket partnership of Zimbabwe’s top scorer Sean Williams (63) and Ervine – who was run out after posting 32 runs – seemed to breathe life into Zimbabwe’s chase but there were no more batsman able to occupy the crease with Williams for a win.
And despite the fact that Masakadza and Williams both managed half centuries, they did not get enough support from the rest of the team Chibhabha and Ervine being the only other players who managed over seven runs.
Zimbabwe captain Chigumbura knows his batting department did not have the grit and failed to turn up where it mattered the most, aiming to make sure they do not repeat the same mistakes in two months time.
“New Zealand played well, especially upfront but out batting let us down, it was a reasonable target. We laid the foundation and some players managed to get runs but it’s something to learn from. Pakistan are coming in six weeks so we need to make sure we pull things up from where we need to learn.”
It was Mitchelle McClenaghan with the ball who caused most of the trouble for the Zimbabweans having given New Zealand the first breakthrough when he castled Chibhabha to break the first wicket partnership with Masakadza.
He was back to haunt Zimbabwe again in the 48th over where he made sure the duo of Tinashe Panyangara and Neville Madziva went back to the pavilion within a space of three deliveries to close the game.
Man-of-the-Match Williamson with his 90 was also named Man-of-the-Series.
“The wicket was tough and they bowled very well but the way boys stuck it in and put on that score was competitive. We knew that if we could get one we could put them under pressure. It was a fantastic and well-fought series.
“Tough series and adapt to conditions, most pleasing thing for me was learning from each game. We’ve got a strong squad and we came here looking to be as competitive as we could be in the busy schedule. These are stepping stones for us, there’s still the T20 left so we’re looking forward to that,” said Williamson.