New Zealand thrash Zimbabwe by 10 wickets
Ahmedabad: New Zealand displayed a clinically efficient all round performance to thump Zimbabwe by 10 wickets with more than 16 overs to spare in their crucial group league encounter of the World Cup at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on Friday.
The Kiwis first bundled out Elton Chigumbura and Co. for a paltry 162 in 46. 2 overs on a good batting strip. It was a disciplined bowling effort by the Kiwis as Tim Southee (3/29), Kyle Mills (2/29) and skipper Daniel Vettori (2/25) shared the spoils.
New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum didn`t have any difficulty in chasing down the target as they accomplished the job in only 33.3 overs.
Guptill struck seven fours and two sixes in his unbeaten knock of 86 off 108 deliveries while McCullum slammed two sixes and six fours as he stayed undefeated on 76 from 95 balls.
Guptill set the tone of the Black Caps chase hitting Tinashe Panyangara,for couple of boundaries and a straight six in the first over in which 14 runs came.
Runs came comfortably for the opening duo against the spin-heavy Zimbabwe attack which didn`t have enough ability to defend a modest target.
Guptill raced to his half century in 68 deliveries with the help of three fours and two sixes before his senior partner followed suit to complete his individual half century in 74 balls, with three fours and a six in it.
Both teams now travel to Sri Lanka to resume their campaign in the seven-team group with New Zealand taking on tournament co-hosts Sri Lanka on March 8 at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy, two days before Zimbabwe are pitted against the home team at the same venue.
In earlier matches in the group, both teams had been comprehensively beaten by holders Australia.
Before this clash New Zealand had trounced Kenya, also by 10 wickets, while Zimbabwe had overcome Canada by 175 runs.
While today`s emphatic victory, their 20th over Zimbabwe in 29 ODIs, has clearly steered New Zealand into a good position for making it to the knock-out rounds, the defeat has left Zimbabwe with an uphill task of defeating title contenders Sri Lanka and Pakistan to enter the last eight.
Earlier, Zimbabwe`s top-order batsmen crumbled against the New Zealand attack before the tail wagged defiantly as the African nation managed a meagre 162 in 46.2 overs.