Zimbabwe set New Zealand imposing T20 cricket target
2/14/2012 9:30:00 AM -
HAMILTON, New Zealand (AFP) - Zimbabwe produced their strongest batting display of the New Zealand tour Tuesday to set the home side a target of 201 in the second Twenty20 international in Hamilton.
Half centuries from opener Hamilton Masakadza (62) and captain Brendan Taylor (75) gave Zimbabwe a realistic prospect of claiming their first victory of the tour, as the Africans ended their innings at 200 for two.
Under orders from Taylor to break the shackles in the final match of what has been a dismal tour, Zimbabwe's opening batsmen Masakadza and Stuart Matsikenyeri (32) posted a quick-fire 76-run opening partnership.
It was the first time the tourists' openers have managed a stand exceeding 50 runs in the entire tour.
Masakadza, who also scored a half century in the first T20, made the most of the fast outfield to put the New Zealand attack under pressure, while Matsikenyeri scored successive sixes off Michael Bates.
Taylor made a major contribution with 75 off 43 balls as New Zealand made uncharacteristic fumbles in the field and unsuccessfully tried to staunch the flow of runs by making 15 bowling changes in their 20 overs.
Bates and Ronnie Hira were the only wicket takers for New Zealand but both proved expensive, with Bates leaking 47 runs off four overs and Hira going for 31 off three.
Speaking before the match, Taylor said the final outing was a chance to take something positive from a tour in which Zimbabwe have been so far outclassed in Test, one-day and T20 formats.
"It's been hard but it can only make us better players," he said.