Zimbabwe batsmen capitulate after a brisk start
PROVIDENCE (Guyana): New Zealand made it to the Super Eight stage after winning a rain-curtailed Group B match against Zimbabwe by seven runs in the ICC World Twenty20 here on Tuesday.
New Zealand was 36 for one in 8.1 overs chasing Zimbabwe's 84 when rain interrupted play, bringing the Duckworth-Lewis method into the picture again. Victory meant New Zealand qualified from Group B along with Sri Lanka, which defeated Zimbabwe in another rain-affected match here on Monday.
Earlier, Nathan McCullum took three wickets for one run in an over as Zimbabwe collapsed for 84. In a game which it had to win to have any chance of qualifying for the Super Eights, Zimbabwe made a relatively sound start to be 58 for one in the seventh over.
It was at this juncture that opener Hamilton Masakadza was run out.
Andy Blignaut followed soon afterwards, bowled trying to slog sweep Kiwi captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori.
And any hope of a Zimbabwe fightback was then wrecked by a dramatic ninth over, McCullum's third.
Three in one over
The off-spinner, who'd starred with the bat by hitting the winning six in New Zealand's opening two-wicket victory over Sri Lanka, had the dangerous Elton Chigumbura (three), caught at long-on off the over's first ball.
Two balls later, Charles Coventry was out for nought offering a simple caught and bowled chance after being beaten in the flight by a slower delivery.
And off the over's last ball, Craig Ervine (one), drawn out of his crease and then beaten by a ball that dipped and turned, was stumped by Gareth Hopkins, keeping wicket in this match rather than McCullum's younger brother Brendon.
Zimbabwe, which was 62 for three at the start of the over, was 63 for six when it finished.
Medium-pacer Scott Styris followed up with three wickets for five runs in two overs to compound the damage.
Tatenda Taibu top-scored with 21, with only fellow opener Masakadza also making it to 20. Greg Lamb was 14 not out, with 11 extras the fourth best score of the innings.
Zimbabwe: T. Taibu c Oram b Southee 21 (14b, 3x4), H. Masakadza (run out) 20 (20b, 2x4), A. Blignaut b Vettori 8 (8b, 1x4), E. Chigumbura c Guptill b N. McCullum 3 (4b), C. Ervine st. Hopkins b N. McCullum 1 (5b), C. Coventry c & b N. McCullum 0 (2b), G. Lamb (not out) 14 (21b), T. Maruma c Guptill b Styris 4 (11b), G. Cremer b Styris 0 (1b), P. Utseya lbw b Styris 0 (1b), R. Price b Vettori 2 (4b); Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-9) 11; Total (in 15.1 overs): 84.
Fall of wickets: 1-36, 2-58, 3-60, 4-62, 5-62, 6-63, 7-73, 8-74, 9-74.
New Zealand bowling: N. McCullum 4-0-16-3, Bond 3-0-20-0, Southee 2-0-18-1, Oram 1-0-13-0, Vettori 3.1-0-10-2, Styris 2-0-5-3.
New Zealand (target 30 in 8.1 overs): B. McCullum (not out) 22 (26b, 2x4), J. Ryder c Taibu b Utseya 2 (11b), M. Guptill (not out) 6 (12b); Extras (w-6) 6; Total (for one wkt. in 8.1 overs): 36.
Fall of wicket: 1-7.
Zimbabwe bowling: Utseya 4-1-21-1, Price 4-0-14-0, Lamb 0.1-0-1-0 .