Whangarei: Feb 6, 2012
A powerful 146 off 134 balls by opener Rob Nicol led a New Zealand batting onslaught which produced 372 for six in the second one-day international against Zimbabwe in Whangarei Monday.
Nicol, who lasted until the 48th innings, produced the fifth highest New Zealand one-day innings as he clouted the cream of the Zimbabwe bowlers around the ground in an innings which produced 10 fours and six sixes.
After rain delayed the start of play from 35 minutes, New Zealand made a cautious start, surviving two maiden overs before Nicol started the scoring with an unorthodox slog which resulted in a top edge over slips for four.
But his innings, his second century in only his fifth ODI, was near chanceless after that, as he stood in a 131-run partnership with Martin Guptill (77) for the first wicket.
Nicol was prepared to let Guptill lead the way and also propped up his end as the hard-charging Jacob Oram (59) and Brendon McCullum (20) came and went at the other end.
But when New Zealand were four down for 261 with nine overs remaining, Nicol let rip, racing from 94 to 146 over the following eight overs before he was caught at deep midwicket by Shingi Masakadza off Prosper Utseya.
Utseya was the most successful of the Zimbabwe bowlers, taking three for 71 off his 10 overs in an innings where the tourists were made to pay dearly for fielding lapses.
Their woes began when Oram, on 45, skied the ball towards mid-off where Elton Chigumbura was slow to react and his desperate dive was too short and too late.
Oram added another 14 before Hamilton Masakadza dismissed him two overs later, ending a whirlwind innings in which the big New Zealander scored 59 off 28 deliveries.
Hamilton Masakadza also had McCullum dropped by Kyle Jarvis on four and the New Zealand skipper went on to make 20, while Tom Latham was given a life on 14 by Stuart Matsikenyeri and was eventually dismissed for 48.
New Zealand won the first match in the series in Dunedin on Friday by 90 runs with the third and final game in Napier on Thursday. (AFP)
Brief Scores: New Zealand 372 for 6 in 50 overs (Rob Nicol 146, Martin Guptill 77, Jacob Oram 59; Prosper Utseya 3 for 71) vs Zimbabwe