Zimbabwe v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Bulawayo
Zimbabwe Wins in a Thriller, Despite Taylor, Williamson Tons25-Oct-2011 16:27:00 GMT
Bulawayo: All-rounders Elton Chigumbura and Malcolm Waller, finally came good, with a 112-run sixth-wicket partnership to end a 12-match losing streak across formats beat New Zealand by 95 runs at Queens Sports Club on Tuesday. On a flat pitch in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's batsmen, Waller in particular, showed immense character to chase a total of more than 300 for the first time in Zimbabwe's history, and stave off a clean sweep in the series.
Captain Brendan Taylor set them on the right track with an aggressive 75 off 65 balls before Tatenda Taibu's feisty fifty kept the momentum going. Waller and Chigumbura came together at the start of the 31st over, with 146 runs required to win and crafted a match-winning partnership.
Earlier, Kiwis captain Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson hit aggressive centuries as New Zealand racked up 328/5.
Skipper Taylor (119) and Williamson (100 not out) rescued New Zealand from a precarious position after it had slipped to 41/3 in 7.1 overs.
The pair shared a 195-run fifth wicket partnership, punishing Zimbabwe's loose bowling that fell away after an improved fielding performance by the hosts early on.
Taylor was bowled by debutant seamer Njabulo Ncube in the last over, but Williamson scrambled to his century off just 69 balls by forcing three runs off the last delivery of the innings which was re-bowled after a no-ball, giving Williamson a chance at his century.
Williamson lofted a shot over mid-off and toward the boundary, ran three and slid in at the non-striker's end to just make his ground.
Ncube was Zimbabwe's best bowler on his debut with 3-69, but Zimbabwe wasted three early strikes as Taylor and Jesse Ryder (53), rebuilt with an 83-run stand before Taylor and Williamson took the game away from the Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe have lost their last seven ODIs and faces a stern batting test to avoid a series whitewash. New Zealand also won the two Twenty20 games. The teams will play a one-off Test in Bulawayo starting November 1.
Malcolm Waller's direct hit ran out BJ Watling for a duck in the first over, Rob Nicol was dismissed by Ncube for his first international wicket and Brendon McCullum also fell to Ncube early to put New Zealand in trouble.
But Taylor found form for the first time on the tour, hammering nine fours and three sixes in his 126-ball innings.
Williamson scored even more freely with 11 fours and a six, and his desperate running right at the end saw him scrape through to three figures for just the second time in ODIs.
Ncube's eventful bowling debut was ended when he was taken out of the attack on the last delivery of the innings, two deliveries after he dismissed Taylor for a second no-ball above waist height.
Elton Chigumbura bowled the extra ball and was lofted over the infield for Williamson's century-clinching runs.
New Zealand 328 for 5 (Taylor 119, Williamson 100*)
Zimbabwe 329 for 9 (Waller 99*, Taylor 75)
Results Zimbabwe beat New Zealand by one wicket
MOM Malcolm Waller (Zimbabwe)
Man of the series Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe)