Kiwis win T20I series

New Zealand

Chamu Chibhabha's heroics were not enough to save Zimbabwe as they suffered a 35-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the second Twenty20 International in Harare on Monday.

Chamu Chibhabha's heroics were not enough to save Zimbabwe as they suffered a 35-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the second Twenty20 International in Harare on Monday.

Set 189 for victory via the Duckworth/Lewis method, the right-handed Chibhabha overcame the early loss of his opening partner Hamilton Masakadza, who edged Doug Bracewell to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum for nine, and captain Brendan Taylor, bowled by debutant Graeme Aldridge for a single, to give Zimbabwe a possible sniff of chasing down the massive target in 18 overs.

Chibhabha smashed five sixes and four fives in his 39-ball 65 and was well supported by Elton Chigumbura's 39 from 22 balls during their 57-run stand. However, once the duo departed the wickets kept tumbling and Forster Mutizwa and Matt Waller were the only two other batsmen to reach double figures.

The hosts lost their last four wickets for the addition of zero runs in the space of four balls in Bracewell's final over. Mutizwa was run out for 22 off the second ball of the 17th over, Ray Price went in similar fashion the next ball, while Kyle Jarvis and Chris Mpofu were out off the last two balls of the game.

Bracewell finished the game with three for 25, while spinner Nathan McCullum kept Zimbabwe's middle order in check with three for 23.

It was a valiant effort from Chibhabha but the plaudits will go to Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill after they went on the rampage to propel New Zealand to 187 for three.

What made the Black Caps' total even more impressive is the fact that it came off only 18 overs as rain forced the umpires to reduce the number of overs per team.

After a wet outfield delayed the start, McCullum and Guptill, who smashed an unbeaten 127 in 13.3 overs in the opening T20 on Saturday, hit 28 in three overs before the heavens opened up again. When play eventually resumed, the two openers took advantage of the excellent batting wicket and some indifferent bowling.

They ended up sharing a 120-run partnership in 67 balls. Wicketkeeper-batsman McCullum was once again at his destructive best as he hammered a 37-ball 64, with seven sixes and two fours. His partner's 67 came off 46 balls.

Jesse Ryder finished the innings with an unbeaten 30 from 23 balls. Captain Ross Taylor was the other batsman who was dismissed, having contributed eight from five balls.

Kyle Jarvis was the only Zimbabwe bowler to get his name in the wickets column as he dismissed both McCullum and Guptill to finish with two for 36 in his four overs.

The two teams now move on to the ODI series, with the first match of the three-game affair taking place at the same venue on Thursday.

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