New Zealand v Zimbabwe, 2nd Twenty20, Hamilton February 14, 2012

Williamson blitz wins thriller for NZ


New Zealand 202 for 5 (Franklin 60, Nicol 56, Williamson 20*) beat Zimbabwe 200 for 2 (Taylor 75*, Masakadza 62) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A stunning 5-ball 20 from Kane Williamson saw New Zealand over the line in Hamilton, as the hosts chased down 201 in Hamilton, with five wickets and two balls to spare. The chase had been set up by fifties to openers Rob Nicol and James Franklin, but with New Zealand needing 21 from 9 balls and two new batsmen at the crease, Zimbabwe seemed to have the match sewn up. But Williamson's classy cameo ensured his side overcame the visitor's first serious challenge of the tour, and Zimbabwe will now leave New Zealand without having won a match.

Williamson's line in the scorebook read 4,2,4,6,4 as he coolly reeled in Zimbabwe's total with timing, placement and nous, in a match filled with heavy hitting. His first ball was lofted square on the leg side, dissecting deep square leg and deep midwicket perfectly, before he did the same on the off side from his third delivery, to leave New Zealand leaving nine from four. He sealed the result next ball, pouncing on Shingi Masakadza's half volley to send it over long-on, before finishing the match with an upper-cut.

Zimbabwe's total had been set up by another measured innings, that proved the enduring value of class and composure in the shortest form. Brendan Taylor began his 43-ball 75 slowly, but surged at the finish, manipulating the field with calculated strokes around the wicket. New Zealand's bowlers helped Zimbabwe's cause by missing the yorker length regularly, but the mistakes were forced by Taylor, whose ability to find gaps propelled Zimbabwe to 200, and even saw the visitors dominate the opposition attack for the first time on tour. Hamilton Maskadza's belligerent fifty - his second on the trot - also deserves mention as he and Stuart Matsikenyeri laid the base for Zimbabwe with an opening stand that brought 76 in seven overs.

Zimbabwe's batting may have come to life, but their fielding began as woefully as it has been all summer, as Malcolm Waller's poor throw from the outfield ruined a straightforward chance to run Nicol out in the second over. Nicol had struck New Zealand's first boundary three balls earlier - a flat batted six over wide long-on - and scored the bulk of his side's early runs, while James Franklin could scarcely lay bat on ball.

A challenging chase had been made harder for New Zealand by the absence of Martin Guptill, who had made a half-century in each outing against Zimbabwe and provided the early impetus for the New Zealand innings. Nicol did a fair impression though, picking three fours and two sixes on the on-side to motor to 32 from 19 by the end of the fifth over.

Franklin found his feet eventually, after tight overs from Prosper Utseya and Ray Price pushed the required run rate towards 12. His two successive sixes in the eighth over sparked a 12-ball burst in which New Zealand belted six sixes and a four, to plunder 46 and haul that rate in.

Nicol made his first Twenty20 fifty off 34 balls, but departed soon after - Brendon McCullum stepping into his role as prime aggressor, while Franklin completed a half-century himself. New Zealand seemed to be coasting at 135 for 1 at the start of the 14th over, but Franklin's demise for 60 was the first in a string of wickets for Zimbabwe, that set up a tight finish.

Colin de Grandhomme, who had played for Zimbabwe under-19s alongside Taylor, Utseya and Waller before moving to New Zealand, made only 8 before edging Shingi Masakadza onto his stumps, and having left themselves 26 to win from the last two overs, the McCullum brothers perished on the boundary off consecutive deliveries.

Williamson's blitz though, ensured the hosts reached their target with two balls to spare, leaving Zimbabwe winless in six matches on New Zealand soil.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on February 14, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    What a great game for both teams. For Zim, a performance to be proud of a much needed confidence boost in the batting department. Scoring 200 in a T20 is a great feat. For NZ, just the test they needed before South Africa. They needed composure, confidence and execution to pull off that result under heavy pressure. Finally a result they can actually learn something from.

  • Andrew on February 14, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    Hey guys, give the Zim boys a break. They really tried hard in this match and put up a good show to end off their tour. If Chris Mpofu were available he would have bowled a better last over than Shingi, so no use saying Zim is a useless team after putting up a good display. I have noticed that Zimbabwe improves after a few bad games (eg: when NZ was in Zim and even on this tour). Given that this was their first away tour and in such alien conditions, couldn't the powers that be have put the ODIs and T20s first so that Zim had more time to aclimatise? I'm convinced that if they had played the test last, not first, they would have done much better. Those who always moan about standards in test cricket must pay attention to this and give more preparatory matches before the tests, especially for emerging sides.

  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    absolutely useless team..... and givin shingi the last over wen he went 4 16 in his 1st no sense in taylor.. zim shud quit cricket . i was a die hard fan of zim bt noww mi fav team looks useless

  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Hard to say what was more intense to watch, NZ vs Zim or Auckland vs Central Stags. SA are really going to test our players.

  • Madhurya on February 14, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Well done willionson . He will the match for new zealand

  • Venkat on February 14, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    Maybe BCCI can organize a tour of Zim to ensure that the uncles in the team get their personal landmarks and retire for good

  • Girik on February 14, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    A bit disappointing Zim couldn't finally get a win on this tour. The batting was good. Bowling was tougher because of the pitch but still a few less waist high full tosses would have helped. And then there was the sloppy fielding apart from a great direct hit by Kegan Meth. They just seem to be lacking discipline surely a decent coach can add a spine to this wobbly team? To be fair though I think this Black Caps has shown a lot of potential. I think they are in the top 5 teams of the world right now in all 3 forms of the game. Williamson has the potential to be a great. Guptill I'm still not so sure about. He lacks that X-factor which the legends of cricket usually have. Apart from that, great to see a strong Zimbabwean contingent in the crowds. They seemed to have that West Indian characteristic of always partying and having a good time regardless of the match result.

  • Akhil on February 14, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    T20 is the only future for Zimbabwe......amazing performance today.....can win t20 games in future....

  • kudakwashe on February 14, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    these zimbabwean cricketers are just not good for the game. How can u just let it go like that. On the otherother side of the coin if they were the ones in need of 16 runs from 9 ball to win they would still have lost the game.

    I disagree with you David Mutendera when you say these guys need more international games. Hamilton Masakadza has played 119 ODI games, Brendan Taylor 132 ODI games, Tatenda Taibu 150 ODI games, Elton Chigumbura 142 ODI games, Ray Price 102 ODI games and so on.So how many more matches do you need these guys to play so that they start playing compitative cricket , 500 matches i guess. A few years ago the story was they are only young boyz still leaning the game and now the question is how old are they now.

    Am disjointed with this kind of performance

  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    What a performance by New Zealnd,you a amazing Williamson Zim u a batting realy well keep it up guys

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