Player of the Match
Player of the Match

So there's plenty of cricket in the Land of the Long White Cloud over the next few days, do join me for all of it. This is Avi Singh signing off on behalf of Andrew Fernando, Venkat Raghav, Gopi Rangarajan, Siddarth Ravindran and Dustin Silgardo. Thanks for the mails tonight as well. See you tomorrow!

Zimbabwe may be heading out, but South Africa are already here. Tomorrow they play Canterbury at 5.00pm local time in a warm-up Twenty20 match at Christchurch's Hagley Oval to raise funds for the Christchurch earthquake appeal. Please do join me for that match which is the first of South Africa's tour. I will also be with you for the 1st Twenty20 International on Friday night in Wellington, as well as the curtain-raiser Twenty20 between the New Zealand Women and England Women beforehand.

That ends our coverage of Zimbabwe's tour of New Zealand, which saw the hosts win every game and most of them comfortably. Tonight, they were given a real fright though and Zimbabwe ensured they can head back home knowing that they can compete with the top eight sides in world cricket.

Man of the Match is James Franklin: "First hit in a couple of weeks so pleased to get a few out of the middle. The first few overs were hard work but we knew that if we got through that and waited, the runs would come. I expect a demotion though with Guppy coming back soon."

Brendon McCullum: "Zimbabwe batted well tonight, they put together partnerships which put us under pressure. Happy to get the win though and to wrap up the series, a good test before South Africa. Some of the guys will be disappointed but I'm confident this won't happen again. James Franklin batted well, made the most of his promotion. Kane is a class act, a very mature cricketer and showed he can adjust to all forms, his innings tonight was testament to his temperament. We've tried to be hard on ourselves and maintain that ruthless streak, so we will now wait and see if we can follow through with that against South Africa."

Brendan Taylor: "Tonight showed what we can do if we keep wickets in hand. We can hold our heads tonight. The better side won, but the boys will be fairly happy with the effort. Unfortunately it took this long [for the batting to fire], hopefully we can take a leaf from this and repeat it in the future. The firepower they have, we were always going to be under pressure."

A much improved effort tonight from the visitors though, who showed that they were capable of far more than what they had produced on the tour to date. The crowd certainly got their money's worth from both sides. Many of you surprised that Chigumbura didn't bowl the final over after his successful spell tonight, that will be one of the what-ifs Zimbabwe will ponder after they fought valianty before falling just short.

Zimbabwe pushed all the way but in the end New Zealand had just enough depth to sneak over the line. Jarvis' double-wicket penultimate over which removed the McCullum brothers looked to have swung the match Zimbabwe's way, but Williamson came in and struck every ball he faced with power and precision to ensure that Zimbabwe will go home winless.

SW Masakadza to Williamson, FOUR runs, Kane Williamson has belied his small stature to play a 'big' innings here, he came in at number 7 with 21 needed off 9 balls and has scored 20 from just 5 balls, the final boundary was a full ball which was sliced away over point and to the fence
SW Masakadza to Williamson, SIX runs, New Zealand should win this now after a superb strike from Williamson, half-volley in the slot and he swings it high over the long-on boundary, run a ball from here
SW Masakadza to Williamson, FOUR runs, another full toss outside off and Shingi isn't so fortunate this time, even though Kane had backed away he stretched for it and took a hand off the bat as he managed to time it perfectly and bisect the fielders in the deep on the cover boundary
SW Masakadza to Ellis, 1 run, starts with a full toss which is swung away but straight to deep midwicket without much timing or power

Shingi Masakadza is entrusted with the crucial final over

19 | 13 Runs 2 Wkts | NZ: 187/5 (14 runs required from 6 balls, RR: 9.84, RRR: 14.00)

  • Kane Williamson6 (2b)
  • Andrew Ellis1 (1b)
  • Kyle Jarvis4-0-35-2
  • Prosper Utseya4-0-38-0
Jarvis to Williamson, 2 runs, fired into middle and he squeezes it through midwicket, they rush back for a risky second and Kane puts in a dive which saves him from being run out, 14 needed from the last over
Jarvis to Williamson, FOUR runs, gets down a knee first ball does Kane, a brave stroke gets the reward as he swings it to the cow corner fence past the diving fielder
Jarvis to Ellis, 1 run, fired into off and he squeezes it through midwicket

Ben: "How important was Mills final over?" We shall see. Jarvis on a hat-trick

Jarvis to NL McCullum, OUT, full outside off and he gets down a knee to slam it over the cover boundary but he slices it high into the air and it settles in the hands of Elton at deep cover, two wickets in two balls and Zimbabwe hold their catches at the crucial moments to get a firm grip on the game

NL McCullum c Chigumbura b Jarvis 5 (11m 6b 0x4 0x6) SR: 83.33

Andrew Ellis walks in on debut

Jarvis to BB McCullum, OUT, full toss on leg and he flicks it away again towards square leg but this one settles in the hands of Waller right on the rope and Zimbabwe wrestle back the initiative

BB McCullum c Waller b Jarvis 38 (38m 24b 4x4 1x6) SR: 158.33

Jarvis to BB McCullum, SIX runs, starts with a horrendous full toss which is swung away into the stands at square leg, New Zealand regain the upper hand

Jarvis to bowl the penultimate over

18 | 10 Runs | NZ: 174/3 (27 runs required from 12 balls, RR: 9.66, RRR: 13.50)

  • Brendon McCullum32 (22b)
  • Nathan McCullum5 (5b)
  • Prosper Utseya4-0-38-0
  • Elton Chigumbura3-0-23-2
Utseya to BB McCullum, 1 run, drills a full ball straight to cover, who fumbles it towards long-off which lets them take the single
Utseya to BB McCullum, 2 runs, outside off and he sweeps in front of square past midwicket in the circle, said two straightaway and they get it
Utseya to NL McCullum, 1 run, goes back and hits into the deep on the off side
Utseya to NL McCullum, no run, this time gets it closer to off and beats the cut again
Utseya to NL McCullum, 1 wide, wide of off, beat the cut and is called for line late
Utseya to NL McCullum, 4 byes, outside off and he misses the sweep, beats not only the batsman but also Taibu and heads to the boundary for four damaging byes
Utseya to BB McCullum, 1 run, full ball is worked to long-on

Utseya replaces Price

17 | 7 Runs 1 Wkt | NZ: 164/3 (37 runs required from 18 balls, RR: 9.64, RRR: 12.33)

  • Nathan McCullum4 (2b)
  • Brendon McCullum28 (19b)
  • Elton Chigumbura3-0-23-2
  • Ray Price4-0-39-0
Chigumbura to NL McCullum, 2 runs, swings a ball outside off into the deep at square leg
Chigumbura to NL McCullum, 2 runs, dropped down at long-on, full ball on the stumps was hit with a skewed blade towards Hamilton who lost his footing and tried to recover in vain but he could only get a hand to it

Nathan McCullum joins his brother

James: "Whichever way this game goes, at least Zimbabwe have competed, which is a big step forward."

Chigumbura to de Grandhomme, OUT, Zimbabwe get rid of the new boy with a full ball outside off, he tried to thrash it through the covers without moving the feet, gets a thick inside edge which careers into middle stump

C de Grandhomme b Chigumbura 8 (10m 7b 1x4 0x6) SR: 114.28

Chigumbura to BB McCullum, 1 run, plays this into the deep on the off side and the fielder fumbles but the batsmen turn down the chance of a second
Chigumbura to BB McCullum, no run, Baz misses out on a full toss outside the off stump, tried to swing to leg and is angry for missing out on a boundary opportunity
Chigumbura to BB McCullum, 2 runs, full outside off and squeezed into the deep

16 | 9 Runs | NZ: 157/2 (44 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 9.81, RRR: 11.00)

  • Brendon McCullum25 (16b)
  • Colin de Grandhomme8 (6b)
  • Ray Price4-0-39-0
  • Elton Chigumbura2-0-16-1
Price to BB McCullum, 1 leg bye, off the pad and it rolls to leg

New Zealand 2nd innings Partnerships

1st103JEC FranklinRJ Nicol
2nd39JEC FranklinBB McCullum
3rd18BB McCullumC de Grandhomme
4th20BB McCullumNL McCullum
5th0NL McCullumAM Ellis
6th22AM EllisKS Williamson