Wills International Cup 1998-99, first round match

New Zealand v Zimbabwe

At Dhaka, October 24 (day/night). New Zealand won by five wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe. International debuts: M. D. Bailey, M. D. Bell, A. R. Tait.

The tournament's least attractive fixture -- even the cricket-crazy Bangladeshis left the stadium almost half-empty -- had a remarkable finish, when New Zealand pulled off an improbable victory. Campbell had scored a century for Zimbabwe; the opposing captain, Fleming, just missed. However, New Zealand were always behind on run-rate and still needed 40 with three overs left. Harris then launched a ferocious assault on Johnson, which produced 18 off the 48th over, New Zealand needed 12 off the last. But, helped by a no-ball and an inside-edge boundary by Tait, they got to the last ball wanting three to win and two to secure a bowl-out. Harris averted that by smashing four past extra cover. Earlier, his slow-medium bowling had curbed the scoring, setting a pattern for the tournament. He lost the match award to Fleming, which was rumoured to be a mistake: Ravi Shastri, making the award of behalf of all the TV commentators, was allegedly unable to read the scrawled note.

Man of the Match: S. P. Fleming.

© John Wisden & Co