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Images: Kiwis make short work of Zimbabwe

Last updated on: March 4, 2011 16:45 IST

Brendan Taylor top-scored for Zimbabwe

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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 A World Cup encounter at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on  Friday.

- Scorecard

Chasing a modest target of 162, New Zealand openers Martin Guptill (86 not out, 108 balls, 7x4, 2x6) and Brendon McCullum (76 not out, 95 balls, 6x4, 2x6) wrapped up proceedings in 33.3 overs.

With this win, New Zealand recorded their second victory in the mega event.

Earlier, Zimbabwe's top-order batsmen crumbled against the New Zealand attack before the tail wagged defiantly to help the  African nation post a meagre 162 in 46.2 overs.

Barring experienced opener Brendan Taylor, who top-scored with 44 (57 balls, 4x4), and rearguard action from Prosper Utseya (36) and Graeme Cremer (22), the top-order batsmen put up an insipid show as Zimbabwe tottered at 89 for 7 after 27 overs, on a strip that was good for batting.


Image: Brendan Taylor
Photographs: Reuters
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Zimbabwe added 40 runs for the last two wickets

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Apart from Taylor, only Craig Irvine (11) got into double figures among the top six. The Black Caps' bowling was backed up by some splendid fielding.

Former captain Utseya, who made 36 in 65 balls -- inclusive of three boundaries -- showed more gumption than their more accomplished frontline batsmen barring Taylor.

- World Cup coverage

The Zimbabweans added 40 runs for the last two wickets as New Zealand were left to score the runs at an asking rate of 3.26.

In their six head-to-head meetings, New Zealand won five times while one match didn't yield any result.

Zimbabwe, who opted to bat first, suffered an early jolt when opener Charles Coventry was run-out for a duck in the second over of the day.


Image: Craig Ervine
Photographs: Getty Images
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Kiwi bowlers controlled the innings

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Coventry drove a Tim Southee delivery to mid-on and set off for quick single. However Hamish Bennett showed brilliant anticipation as he hit the stumps with a smart under-arm throw as Coventry was still short of his ground.

The New Zealand bowlers then stuck to a disciplined line as the batsmen found it difficult to score runs.

As Zimbabwe's batsmen perished due to poor shot selection, it was Taylor who showed a lot of common sense in his approach before he was adjudged leg before off Scott Styris.

Wickets fell at regular intervals. Tatenda Taibu, who scored a fine 98 in their 175-run victory over Canada, was trapped leg before by an in-cutter from Southee as the batsman tried to play it down the leg-side. The wicket-keeper made just 8 in 18 balls.

Inside 25 overs, more than half of the side was back in the hut as Daniel Vettori's men had firm grip over the proceedings.


Image: Tim Southee reacts after claiming the wicket of Taitenda Taibu
Photographs: Getty Images
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Vettori got into the act too

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New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori grabbed two wickets in the space of three deliveries in his very first over to leave Zimbabwe tottering at 46 for 5 inside of the first two Powerplays.

Prior to that Kyle Mills, had sent back Craig Ervine as the batsman slashed one straight to Jesse Ryder standing at backward point. Mills (two for 29) returned to the side to play his first match in the World Cup after recovering from his back injury that forced him to miss action for one month.

Vettori trapped rival captain Elton Chigumbura (1) off his very first delivery and then had Regis Chakabva (0) trying to drive a delivery that was snapped up smartly by Ross Taylor standing at first slip. Vettori finished with impressive figures of two for 25 in his quota of 10 overs.


Image: Captain Daniel Vettori of New Zealand is congratulated by teammates after getting the wicket of Regis Chakabva
Photographs: Getty Images
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Utseya, Cremer step it up for respectable total

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Greg Lamb was also run-out after the addition of three runs, an excellent piece of co-ordination by Martin Guptill and bowler Vettori, to leave Zimbabwe gasping at 89 for 7.

A stubborn ninth wicket stand of 33 between Utseya and Cremer took Zimbabwe past the 100-run mark to give the total a semblance of respectability.

Cremer edged one to rival wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum while attempting to drive Mills to leave his team at a precarious 122 for 8 after 37 overs.

Utseya and Ray Price (11) then got together to add 35 runs, incidentally the highest for the innings, for the 9th wicket in seven overs to prolong the innings before the latter got trapped in front by Southee who also sent back Utseya and had figures of three for 29 to show for his efforts.


Image: Prosper Utseya
Photographs: Getty Images
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Guptill set the tone for chase

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Openers Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum backed the efforts of their bowlers to steamroll the Zimbabweans without losing any wickets.

The Kiwis came back after the innings break and quickly hit up the runs.

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.


Image: Martin Guptill
Photographs: Getty Images
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Guptill-McCullum cross target comfortably

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Runs came comfortably for the opening duo against the spin-heavy Zimbabwe attack, which didn't have enough ability to defend the modest target.

Guptill raced to his half century in 68 deliveries, inclusive of three fours and two sixes, before Brendon McCullum followed suit, completing his individual half century in 74 balls, studded with three fours and a six.


Image: Brendon McCullum

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