Kane Williamson scored his sixth consecutive ODI half century to help New Zealand to a 38-run victory over Zimbabwe in Harare, according to Sky Sports. Williamson, who was named man of the match and series, hit 90 off 109 balls to help lift New Zealand up to a total of 273-6 batting first. Mitchell McClenaghan then took three wickets for 36 runs to restrict the hosts to 235, and secure New Zealand a 2-1 series victory.
New Zealand entered the game full of confidence after levelling the series 1-1 with a crushing 10-wicket victory in the second ODI on Tuesday. Openers Martin Guptill (42) and Tom Latham (16) began steadily after being asked to bat first by Zimbabwe’s captain, Elton Chigumbura. Williamson, New Zealand’s captain, arrived at the crease in the 10th over and injected some much needed purpose into the Kiwi innings, forming significant partnerships with Guptill and later Grant Elliot (36).
Williamson, who was also named player of the series against England earlier this summer, was eventually caught at long on by Craig Ervine off the bowling of John Nyumbu (2-52). The dismissal was the fourth time in the last six innings that the 24-year-old has fallen in the nineties. James Neesham, in for the injured Ross Taylor, continued the scoring with a quick-fire 37 from 31 – ably assisted by Nathan McCullum (25).
Zimbabwe began their chase well with openers Hamilton Masakadza (57) and Chamu Chibhabha (32) making 97 for the first wicket before the latter lost his stumps to the impressive McClenaghan. Wickets at regular intervals began to hamper the home side’s progress, with only Sean Williams (63) and Ervine (32) showing any further resistance to the New Zealand attack.
Zimbabwe’s hopes of a historic series victory began to fade when Williams’ wicket fell, caught by Guptill off Neesham (1-16). The hosts would go on to fall 36 runs short of their target – all out with 14 balls remaining in the innings. The two sides now have a day’s rest before returning to face each other in a one-off Twenty-20 international on Sunday evening.