Harare: After initial hiccups the Kiwis cantered home to a comfortable 7-wicket win in the first One-dayer against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.Set a modest target of 184 for victory, New Zealanders found themselves in early trouble when they lost their openers, Nevin and Astle, with just 14 runs on the board with Astle departing to a brilliant piece of fielding by Paul Strang.But Spearman (87) and Twose (70 not out) put together 152 runs for the third wicket to steer home the Kiwis to a resounding victory. Spearman departed with New Zealand requiring 18 runs for victory.
Earlier Zimbabwe struggled to make an impression on the game when they ended up with a lowly 183 for eight. None of the Zimbabwe batsmen were able to fetch the team a knock of substance as they withered away to some sustained One-day bowling and brilliant out-field cricket by the Kiwi's. Andy Flower (31, 121 balls) and Carlisle (31, 74 balls) where the only two Zimbabwe batsmen to get a decent score on board. Zimbabwe suffered an early jolt when they lost both their openers (Campbell and Wishart) on 34 to O'Connor. With the loss of two quick wickets, Carlisle and Andy then played cautiously in order to prevent further loss.
But this effort of theirs considerably slowed the pace of the Zimbabwe innings.Once Carlisle departed with the score reading 91, an under edge to keeper Nevin off Astle, Zimbabwe continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, thus were unable to up the scoring rate. Having dismissed Carlisle in his very first over Astle then followed it with the wicket of Grant Flower in his next over to reduce the home team to 95 for four.
The host never got going from there as they struggled to step up the pace and lost wickets regularly. Paul Strang 29 not out and Heath Streak 21 lent some respectability to the total.