Nicol century sets up overwhelming New Zealand win

Whangarei: Opener Rob Nicol plundered 146, the fifth highest one-day international score by a New Zealand batsman as they trounced Zimbabwe by 141 runs in the second one-day international.

The victory at Cobham Oval, following the 90-run win in the first ODI, gave New Zealand an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series and follows the overwhelming innings and 301 run rout of Zimbabwe in their one-off Test.

Nicol`s man-of-the-match 146 off 134 balls was the rock upon which New Zealand built a comprehensive 372 for six before Jacob Oram led a bowling attack that restricted Zimbabwe to 231 for eight.

It was Nicol`s second century in only his fifth ODI and he was supported by 77 from fellow opener Martin Guptill, and boundary-bashing cameos from Oram (59 off 28 deliveries) and 19-year-old Tom Latham (48 off 28).

After rain delayed the start of play for 35 minutes, New Zealand made a cautious beginning with two maiden overs before Nicol opened the scoring with an unorthodox slog which resulted in a top edge over slips for four.

But from there his innings was near faultless as he stood in a 131-run partnership with Guptill then a 77-run stand with all-rounder Oram who was promoted up the order.

Nicol was particularly belligerent in the closing stages featuring in a 92-run partnership in eight overs with Latham for the fifth wicket before he was caught at deep midwicket by Shingi Masakadza off Prosper Utseya.

PTI

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