Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum have guided the BLACKCAPS to a six wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second One Day International in Harare.
A second successive match Brendan Taylor struck a century but ended up on the wrong side of the ledger with the BLACKCAPS batsmen proving to be no match for the local attack.
Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, hit an unbeaten 107 to help his team to a competitive 259 for eight but it wasn’t enough as the tourists reached 261 for six to take an unassailable two-nil lead in the series.
It was century from Guptill that set up the run chase and put the visitors in the box seat. The elegant opener has been in sparkling form with scores of 40 not out, 67 and 74 across the two Twenty20 Internationals and the first ODI. Add to that a 105 off 121 deliveries in an innings that included nine boundaries.
Rob Nicol was out early for nine reuniting Guptill with regular opening partner McCullum with the pair putting 157 for the second wicket.
McCullum showed that he is not a one dimensional player and adapted to situation with a more conservative approach. He still managed four sixes and three fours in a terrific innings of 87 off 99 balls.
A late fight back from Zimbabwe saw McCullum, Ross Taylor (11) and Guptill dismissed within the space of six overs but Kane Williamson and BJ Watling settling the innings.
Watling was run-out late for 19 and James Franklin got just one before Jacob Oram came out and clubbed a boundary off the first ball he faced to seal the win with ten balls to spare. Williamson was unbeaten on 14.
Earlier, Zimbabwe struggled against the pace and bounce of Andy McKay and Jacob Oram with the home team stuttering through to 88 for four in the 25th over.
Taylor managed to find a willing partner in Malcolm Waller who cracked a swift 42 in an 86 runs partnership for the fifth wicket. A series of middling scores followed with Taylor holding the innings together to set up the total.
Oram finished with tidy figures of three for 48 while McKay took career best figures of four for 53. Debutant Graeme Aldridge picked up the only other wicket to fall.
The third and final ODI is in Bulawayo on Tuesday, 8.30pm NZ time.