BLACKCAPS win by 34 to sweep series


Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum picked up where they left off in the first match with another massive opening  stand setting up  a convincing Twenty20 win for the BLACKCAPS over Zimbabwe in Harare.

After being put into bat the BLACKCAPS reached 187 for two in a rain reduced 18 overs with the bowling attack rolling Zimbabwe for 154 to sweep the two match series.

McCullum struck six sixes and two boundaries in his 64 off 37 balls while Guptill top scored with 67 off 46 deliveries, hitting seven fours and two sixes.

After a watchful first few balls Jesse Ryder got into his stride, smashing an unbeaten 30 off 23 balls.

Zimbabwe made a promising start to their run chase with Chamu Chibhabha’s 65 off 39 leading a thrilling assault on the bowling so the home side could at least go down with all guns blazing.

However, spinner Nathan McCullum kept them in check taking three for 23 while seamer Doug Bracewell picked up late wickets to finish with three for 25.

Zimbabwe lost four wickets from the final four balls of the match, including two run-outs, to be all out in 16.5 overs

"The opening partnership was outstanding," said captain Ross Taylor.  "To get over a hundred two games in a row sets the benchmark.

"Brendon and Martin batted very well, very sensibly and complemented each other very well.

"Also the way we came back.  I thought Zimbabwe came at us hard and were looking on course and to peg them back at the end there will put us in good stead for the rest of the series." 

BLACKCAPS batsmen Martin Guptill said: "Each win you get definitely gives you momentum and these two wins will give us that momentum going into the one-dayers. 

"If we can get away to like we have in these last two games we will be in great shape and great form to win the games."

The first of three One Day Internationals starts on Thursday.

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