Riding on a brilliant batting display by Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe stunned New Zealand in the first ODI, as the hosts scaled down the target of 304 with ease. Batting first, the Kiwis, led by the influential Kane Williamson got to 303 in the 50 overs. For the visitors, it was once again the reliable duo of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor who did the bulk of the scoring.
New Zealand were rocked early as both the openers departed within the 9th over. It was after that when the Williamson and Taylor duo wrecked some magic for the visitors with the bat. Williamson played beautifully and looked in great shape as he milked the runs with ease. Along with Williamson, Ross Taylor too got in form as he toyed with the Zimbabwean bowling. Williamson was unfortunate as he was dismissed for 97.
Taylor though, carried on and got to a well compiled ton. Towards the end, a late burst from Grant Elliot ensured that the Kiwis got to above 300. The Zimbabwean openers began in style as they played relatively risk free cricket.
Hamilton Masakadza and Chibhabha were solid at the top, and that shaped up Zimbabwe’s run chase. Chibhabha was dismissed when the score as 74, and Masakadza along with Ervine stitched a 120 run partnership. A rapid partnership with Elton Chigumbura meant that Ervine could play his natural game. Towards the end, Ervine remained unbeaten on 130, as the Zimbabweans chased down the target with an over to spare.
This win will surely further lift the spirit of the Zimbabweans, who already were on cloud nine after their T20I victory over India. Below, are the statistical highlights from the game:
1. This was the 2nd instance when Zimbabwe chased down a score in excess of 300.
2. As of now, there have been 50 scores of 300+ in ODI’s in 2015.
3. Ross Taylor has 15 ODI tons to his name. Only Nathan Astle (16) has more centuries for a New Zealander.
4. Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson have 10 century stands between them.
5. Kane Williamson has now been dismissed within the 90’s on 5 occasions since the last 22 innings.