At Bloemfontein, March 8, 2003. New Zealand won by six wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe.
This match will be remembered for an apocalyptic late blitz by Streak and Ervine. It was not enough to secure victory for Zimbabwe in a game both sides needed to win, but it injected a skip and a jump into what was threatening to be a boring procession. After taking first use of a bland surface, Zimbabwe spent most of their innings consolidating, and began the 48th over modestly placed at 190 for seven. That was the cue for complete mayhem. Making liberal use of the long handle, Streak and Ervine belted the last three overs - bowled by Harris, whose first nine had cost just 22, Vettori and Adams - for 62, including eight fours and three sixes. The previously sedate Streak advanced from 37 to 72, Ervine from six to 31. "Things went a bit pearshaped," Fleming later remarked. Suddenly faced with a challenging chase, New Zealand were teetering at 97 for three. But Astle embarked on a careful stand of 121 with Cairns, dropped at backward square leg on 21, and completed his 13th one-day century as he steered New Zealand home with 16 balls to spare. Earlier, Zimbabwe lost Andy Flower to a superb direct hit from Astle at mid-on, and were grateful for a maiden one-day fifty from Taibu, which kickstarted the recovery.
Man of the Match: N. J. Astle. Attendance: 3,551.