Rob Nicol stroked his second one-day international century in anchoring New Zealand to a series-winning 141-run victory over Zimbabwe at Cobham Oval in Whangarei, New Zealand, yesterday.
Nicol began slowly, but accelerated toward the end of his 134-ball innings, which included 10 boundaries and six sixes, one of which sailed out of the ground, before he was dismissed for 146 in the 49th over.
His innings was the fifth-highest one-day score by a New Zealand player.
Nicol, who made a five-ball duck in the first match in Dunedin on Friday, also scored 108 not out on debut in Zimbabwe last year.
The visitors never threatened New Zealand’s 372 for six after they slumped to 17 for three following the dismissal of the side’s best batsman and captain Brendan Taylor for four.
Wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu (50) and Elton Chigumbura (63) provided some middle-order resistance however, with an 80-run partnership.
Jacob Oram, who had blasted 59 runs off 28 balls in New Zealand’s innings, finished with three for 29.
New Zealand had begun slowly, with Zimbabwe restricting them to 10-0 off the first five overs before Martin Guptill (77) upped the rate and looked set for a century before he was caught in the deep as he and Nicol posted 131 for the first wicket.
Oram was promoted to No. 3 to act as a pinch hitter and he belted five boundaries and four sixes in his short stay, as the hosts accelerated through their middle overs.
Nicol then combined with teenager Tom Latham (48) for a 92-run partnership in 47 balls at the death before he was caught in the deep in the penultimate over. Prosper Utseya finished with three for 71.
New Zealand won the first match of the three-game series by 90 runs and the final game is on Thursday in Napier before the two teams play two Twenty20 internationals.