The Kiwis concluded their Zimbabwe tour with an emphatic victory over the hosts in the lone T-20 game played at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday. From here, the New Zealand side goes to South Africa for another series of T-20 and ODI matches. The two-match T-20 series begins in Durban on August 14, 2015 while the 3-match ODI fixtures are scheduled during August 19-26, 2015. On Sunday, however, New Zealand batsman played commandingly to score 198/5 with every one contributing. The most notable performance came from 25-year old debutant George Worker, whose 38-ball 62 also earned him the player-of-the-match award. For Zimbabwe, chasing 199 became a tall order and they lost wickets at regular intervals and could only reach 118/8 at the end of 20 overs. New Zealand won by 80 runs although Craig Ervine tried his best with 42 off 46 balls. For his good performance in several matches, Ervine was honored with the Player-of-the-Series award.
Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bowl first in the only T-20 game at Harare on Sunday. New Zealand opened with skipper Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill. Williamson struck three boundaries in the first over to set the tone but when the score reached 26, Zimbabwe succeeded in taking out Williamson. The batsman failed to control the shot and holed out to Ervine at deep square-leg. One-drop batsman George Worker was making his debut for New Zealand but he took eight balls before his first international run could accrue. But once Worker grew in confidence, he added 49 with Guptill for the second wicket. After Guptill’s departure, Worker continued with Grant Elliott and added another 18 runs before Elliott departed. For the fifth wicket another 49 runs accrued between Luke Ronchi and Worker. The debutant finally fell as New Zealand’s fifth wicket at 62 scored off 38 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes. The last three Kiwi batsmen, Luke Ronchi, Colin Munro and Nathan McCullum made useful contributions as the visitors ended their 20 overs at 198/5. With figures of 3/28, Sean Williams was Zimbabwe’s most successful bowler.
When Zimbabwe came out to chase 199, they lost openers Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha by the fourth over and the score read 12/2. The asking rate of nearly 10 per over at the start of the chase, kept shooting up as wickets fell and run-scoring became a hard grind. Adam Milne, who was playing in the New Zealand team for the first time since the World Cup in March 2015, accounted for Masakadza and Regis Chakabva with short bouncing deliveries. Most Zimbabwe batsmen fell to miscued shots and they tottered at 64/5 in the 12th over. By this time, the required run rate was hovering at close to 17. Only one Zimbabwe batsman, Craig Ervine offered a semblance of resistance against the Kiwi bowlers but his 42 runs were scored too slowly to make any material difference. In the end, Zimbabwe could only reach 118/8 after 20 overs yielding an 80-run victory to New Zealand. For an impressive show in his debut game, George Worker was honored with the player-of-the-match award while Craig Ervine was the recipient of the Player-of-the-Series award.