NZ capture ODI series-decider
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP): New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by 38 runs with 14 balls to spare in the third one-day international yesterday and took the series 2-1 after losing the first match.
Made to bat first, stand-in captain Kane Williamson anchored the New Zealand innings for nearly 30 overs in scoring 90, setting up a competitive total of 273-6.
The Zimbabwe openers made a great start until Chamu Chibhabha missed Mitchell McClenaghan and lost his off stump at 97-1. In the face of some terrific fielding, Sean Williams kept Zimbabwe in the hunt with 63 runs off 62 balls until he was caught on the boundary, the eighth man down in the 46th over.
Zimbabwe were all out for 235.
Fast bowler McClenaghan, who took only one wicket in the first two matches, claimed a team-best 3-36.
Williamson's 90 off 109 balls, his sixth straight fifty-plus ODI score and fourth in the 90s, helped him to the man of the match and series awards.
He enjoyed fruitful half-century partnerships with opener Martin Guptill (42) and Grant Elliott (36) before he was out to a stunning catch by Craig Ervine. Ervine made a running catch on the long-on boundary, threw the ball up before going over the line, and jumped back just in time to make the second catch.
An unbeaten 50 off the last 25 balls between James Neesham - in for the injured Ross Taylor - and Nathan McCullum boosted the Kiwis to 273-6.
Zimbabwe, eyeing its first ODI series win over New Zealand in 14 years, began promisingly until Chibhabha lost his focus, and fellow opener Hamilton Masakadza (57) fell in the next over.
The teams play a tour-ending Twenty20 tomorrow.