New Zealand set competitive total against Zimbabwe bowlers in ICC KnockOut quarter-final
Roger Twose fashioned his fourth half-century in as many matches against Zimbabwe to steer New Zealand to 265 for seven in their ICC KnockOut quarter-final at the Nairobi Gymkhana Club on Monday.
The New Zealanders, who have just lost a one-day series 2-1 to Zimbabwe, picked up the pace of their innings after a slowish first 25 overs. The arrival of Craig McMillan, upon the dismissal of Chris Cairns at 120 for four, acted as a spur to the Kiwis. He made a 51-ball 52 and with Twose put on an assured 85. Zimbabwe were left a target that would require them to score at 5.32 runs an over for victory.
Just as Cairns seemed to have settled himself, he contrived to get himself out, chopping a short one from Paul Strang into the hands of Dirk Viljoen at point. It was a poor shot and Cairns' 13 was something less than New Zealand had hoped for from him.
The fourth wicket had gone down at 120 in the 27th over, but Twose ploughed on, moving to his 50 with a single off Mluleki Nkala off the 67th ball he faced. He celebrated the achievement by hoisting Grant Flower over long-on for six, but New Zealand still needed someone to shift the innings up a gear.
The arrival of Craig McMillan supplied that impetus as he set about moving the Zimbabwe field around. His presence enabled the New Zealanders to pick up the quick singles that had not been previously available, and by the time the 40th over had been bowled, the scoring rate had lifted to just under five an over.
McMillan moved to his 50 off just 47 deliveries as the fifth-wicket partnership continued to grow in importance, but it came to an end at 95 when McMillan holed out to Henry Olonga on the long-on fence off Viljoen for 52.
Left-arm spinner Viljoen was allowed to bowl his 10 overs out, and he finally accounted for Twose in his final over as the former Englishman found the hands of Olonga at long-off. Olonga was in virtually the same square of turf for Twose that he had been standing in when he caught McMillan four overs previously.
Chris Harris and Adam Parore, with a couple of sixes off Olonga, took New Zealand beyond 250 in the final over of the innings. Harris was caught at deep cover for 16, but Parore ended unbeaten on 19 off eight balls as Olonga conceded 19 off the over.