Guptill, Latham lead Kiwis to win

Martin Guptill and Tom Latham hit unbeaten hundreds as New Zealand levelled their One-Day International series against Zimbabwe with a ten-wicket win in Harare today.

Guptill (116 not out) and Latham (110 not out) shared the Black Caps’ third-highest ODI partnership in history –– 236 –– as the tourists triumphed with 46 balls to spare to bounce back from Sunday’s shock seven-wicket defeat.

Sikandar Raza (100 not out from 95 balls) had earlier propelled Zimbabwe from 146 for 8 to 235 for 9 but with New Zealand knocking that total off with ease, Friday’s third ODI, also in Harare, will now be a decider.

Sikandar Raza scored a century in Zimbabwe’s losing effort.
Sikandar Raza scored a century in Zimbabwe’s losing effort.

Craig Ervine and Hamilton Masakadza plundered scores of 130 not out and 84 respectively in the first match, but both fell cheaply today –– Ervine for 12, Masakadza for a 13-ball duck –– as the hosts slipped to 68 for 5 after winning the toss.

Raza and Sean Williams (26) added 60 for the sixth wicket but the hosts looked likely to wilt when they had just two wickets remaining in the 37th over, spinner Ish Sodhi (3-38) their chief destroyer.

However, Raza and Tinashe Panyangara (33) shared a stand of 89 for the final wicket – Raza securing his third ODI ton in the process –– before Panyangara was run out from the final ball.

Guptill and Latham made light work of their target, though, Guptill crunching 11 boundaries and one six en route to an eighth ODI ton and Latham drilling seven fours and two maximums while amassing a first.

New Zealand –– who are without the rested Brendon McCullum, Trent Boult, Tom Southee and Corey Anderson for this series –– sealed victory when the third ball of the 43rd over, bowled by Williams, went for five wides.

Guptill and Latham’s stand meant New Zealand completed the highest ODI run chase without losing a wicket, beating the 230 Sri Lanka compiled while conquering England in the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup. (Sky)

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