New Zealand horrified Zimbabwe by winning the third and final One Day International by a substantial margin of 202 runs assisted with a ton from the blade of the stand in Captain, Brendon McCullum.
The Black Caps thrashed 373 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the measured 50 overs and bowled out Zimbabwe for 171 runs.
McCullum was declared ’Player of the match’ for his masterly knock of 119 runs in the middle order.
The match took place at McLean Park, Napier, New Zealand, on February 9, 2012.
Earlier the Kiwi’s won the toss and opted to bat on a positive batting surface. The decision paid off as the openers Rob Nicols and Martin Guptill enabled the team with a flying start. They played an attacking knock and the runs were flowing from their bats while the rival bowlers found it hard to stop them. The first fifty of the innings was posted in the 7th over and the dashing Guptill completed his individual fifty in the 12th over off 38 balls.
Guptill became more violent after his fifty and smashed 16 runs in the 16th over to Elton Chigumbura with one six and two consecutive fours. Nicol achieved his fifty in style by dispatching a six on the fourth ball of the 21st over. He lost his wicket in the very next over for 61 off 69 balls assisted with two sixes and 6 fours.
The openers contributed 153 runs in 22 overs and provided a solid platform for a huge score. Guptill was gone on the very first ball of the next over for a majestic 85 off just 69 balls which included five sixes and seven fours.
McCullum took over from where the openers left and butchered the Zimbabwe bowlers to all corners of the park. He stood firm at one end while nominal contributions were made by the incoming batsmen at the other end. He became dangerous in the 47th over off Chigumbura and hammered him for two back-to-back sixes and attained his century in the 48th over.
McCullum was the eighth batsman to go back to the pavilion after smashing 119 runs off 88 balls which comprised five towering sixes and seven fours. He gifted his wicket at the last ball of the 50th over as the hosts amassed 373 runs.
Kyle Jarvis and Ray Price were the main wicket takers with two each as Brian Vitori, Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya shared a wicket each.
Zimbabwe was in trouble from the start as both openers surrendered at the score reached 14 runs. Their Captain Brendan Taylor and the most seasoned batsmen Tatenda Taibu gave some stability by sharing a 67 runs partnership for the third wicket. Taibu was unable to continue and was gone after scoring 26 runs.
Taylor opted to go for invasion instead of being defensive and directed the ball flying and rolling out of the fence quite a few times. He added another fifty to his records on the fifth ball of the 23rd over while dispatching it for six which went into the stands at square leg. The Black Caps accounted for his wicket after he had scored 65 runs off 62 balls with two sixes and 6 fours.
The late order batsmen were found it hard to cope with the devastating attack of the rival bowlers and their innings was folded back for 171 runs with six overs to spare.
Tarun Nethula, Nathan McCullum and Kane Williamson were the highest wicket takers with three each,
New Zealand won the encounter convincingly by 202 runs and also took the series away from the visitors 3-0.