Bloemfontein: Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak led from the front with 72 not out to help his side recover to 252 for seven in its opening World Cup Super Six match against New Zealand at Goodyear Park on Saturday.Streak and wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu, who made a career-best 53, put on 68 for the seventh wicket after the Africans collapsed to 106 for six after winning the toss.
Fast bowler Steak faced 84 balls including two sixes off medium-pacer Chris Harris as well as six fours. In all 62 runs came off the last three overs with Sean Ervine, 31 not out off 14 balls, weighing in as well in an unbroken stand of 78.Taibu was eventually caught leg-before with Harris trying to flick him up and over the keeper.
He faced 79 balls, including one six and three fours.Zimbabwe, which won the toss, lost opener Dion Ebrahim for nought when he chopped on against Andre Adams and by the time Grant Flower (1) mishooked Jacob Oram to Chris Cairns, Zimbabwe was in trouble at 63 for three.It then saw star batsman Andy Flower run himself out for a 61-ball 37 including five fours, the left-hander beaten by Nathan Astle's direct hit.
Another, closer, run out saw Zimbabwe lose its sixth wicket when wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum threw to bowler Daniel Vettori, non-striker Andy Blignaut (4) out after being lured down the pitch by Taibu.Both sides need to win this match in order to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the semi-finals as they carried forward the fewest points of any of the teams in the Super Six with New Zealand on four and Zimbabwe a mere three-and-a-half.