Zimbabwe 'batted outstandingly well' - Taylor
Ross Taylor has conceded New Zealand will be under pressure in Tuesday's second ODI against Zimbabwe after going down 1-0 in the three-match series on Sunday. Taylor scored an unbeaten 112 in New Zealand's innings of 303 for 4 but Craig Ervine and Hamilton Masakadza set up Zimbabwe's second-highest successful ODI chase of all time to reach the target with an over to spare.
"Any time you go 1-0 down in a three-match series you are under pressure and Zimbabwe play very well at home," Taylor said after the loss. "But we will analyse it and come back better in a couple of days' time. It's only one game but we have to win the next two to win the series. Tuesday becomes a very important match."
The defeat continues a disappointing form-line for New Zealand since they reached the World Cup final in March - their only other ODI series since then was a 3-2 loss to England. New Zealand's batting was solid in Harare but Taylor said the fielding was sub-standard, although he said Zimbabwe's batsmen had played "outstandingly well" to chase down the target.
"We were very happy with 300 - we thought it was probably a 270-280 wicket so we thought we were probably 20 ahead," he said. "But the way Chibhabha and Hamilton came out and got them off to a good start, it was always going to be tough to peg them back. If we were able to pick up wickets through the middle, we would have given ourselves a chance but we weren't able to do that.
"The way Ervine batted as well as Masakadza, they batted outstandingly well and took the game away from us. To get there with an over to spare was a very good effort.
"The way they manipulated the right-left combination and being able to put our spinners under pressure throughout the whole match played a big part. We will be better for the hit-out. We were a bit down on our fielding. We pride ourselves on our fielding and we let a few things through that we would normally stop on a good day."
New Zealand have rested captain Brendon McCullum and fast bowler Tim Southee for the three-match series, while Trent Boult, Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santner are unavailable due to injuries.