New Zealand reach Super Eight after rain-hit victory
Providence: New Zealand booked a berth for themselves in the Super Eight of the T20 World Cup after they claimed an easy victory over Zimbabwe by 7 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method in their Group D match here on Tuesday.
Chasing a meager target of 85, New Zealand were 36/1 in 8.1 overs when rain stopped play. After almost an hour of waiting, the Black Caps were declared winners by 7 runs as they were ahead according the Duckworth-Lewis system.
After winning the toss and opting to field first, New Zealand were enjoying their time out on the field since the very beginning.
Openers Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza put on 36 runs in 4.4 overs but after that Zimbabawe batsmen fell in a heap to be all out for 84 in 15.1 overs.
After the opening stand of 36, Zimbabwe lost five wickets in 15 balls as they slumped from 57 for one in 6.4 overs to 63 for six in the ninth over. Later, three wickets fell in the 13th over bowled by Styris.
Taibu top-scored with a breezy 14-ball 21 which included four boundaries while his opening partner Masakadza contributed run-a-ball 20. Greg Lamb (14 not out) was the only other batsman who reached double figures.
New Zealand opening bowlers Shane Bond and Tim Southee bowled a lively spell but Taibu was not the one to remain quiet. He hit two fours each off Bond and Southee.
Southee though had the last laugh as he removed Taibu with a slow bouncer and the wicketkeeper-batsman holed out to square-leg fielder Jacob Oram while trying a pull shot.
Zimbabwe were at a healthy 41 for one after five overs but five wickets in 15 balls put them in serious trouble.
First, Masakadza was run out in the seventh over while trying for a single. Four balls later, Blignaut (8) fell to Daniel Vettori. Three batsmen fell in the ninth over bowled by McCullum. Elton Chigumbura (3) went for a big shot only to find Martin Guptill. Charles Coventry offered a tame catch to McCullum in his follow through for a duck while Craig Ervine (1) was stumped by Hopkins after he was foxed by the flight of the delivery.
There was lull for a while and Zimbabwe added 10 runs from 21 balls before Timycen Maruma (4) fell in the 13th over. That led to another collapse as his two team-mates Graeme Cremer and Prosper Utseya fell in the same over. Both of them failed to open their account.
Ray Price (2) was the last man out LBW to Vettori as Zimbabwe folded at 84, the second lowest total in the tournament so far.
Chasing 85 started on a very amicable note for New Zealand. However, Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya dismissed Jesse Ryder in the third over to give his team an early breakthrough.
But thereafter, Brendon McCullum hit 22 runs to take the Kiwis to 36/1, after with the match was halted due to rain. New Zealand were later declared winners by 7-runs with the help of D/L method.
New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (Capt.), Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Gareth Hopkins, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Shane Bond.
Zimbabwe: Prosper Utseya (Capt.), Hamilton Masakadza, Tatendu Taibu, Andy Blignaut, Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbura, Charles Coventry, Greg Lamb, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price, Timycen Maruma.