Raza ton in vain as New Zealand beat Zimbabwe in 2nd ODI
Sikandar Raza's 100 went in vain as tons from Martin Guptill and Tom Latham helped New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the second one-day international.cricket Updated: Aug 04, 2015 20:58 IST
Sikandar Raza's 100 not out went in a losing cause as a sparkling unbeaten double-century opening stand from Martin Guptill and Tom Latham propelled New Zealand to an emphatic 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the second one-day international at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.
Latham (110 not out) scored his maiden ODI ton and was virtually matched by Guptill (116 not out) as the tourists easily chased down their victory target of 236 to level the three-match series at 1-1.
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat, but despite the eye-catching unbeaten century from Raza, their 235 for nine off 50 overs never looked enough.
The Kiwis raced past the hosts' total without losing a wicket and with 46 balls to spare.
The opening stand is New Zealand's second-highest in ODI matches and is the second time that the Black Caps have beaten Zimbabwe by the maximum 10-wicket margin - Guptill also helping them home at the World Cup in India four years ago.
Raza (100 not out off 95 balls) provided the lone resistance in the home innings as he reached his third ODI ton and took the record for the highest score from a Zimbabwe player batting at number seven or lower in 50-over international cricket.
He also featured in a Zimbabwe record ninth-wicket stand of 89 with Tinashe Panyangara before the latter was run out for a career-best 33.
New Zealand leg-break bowler Ish Sodhi, who made his ODI debut in the first game of the series on Sunday, returned the best figures for the tourists with three for 38 from his 10 overs.
Raza's third ODI century saved Zimbabwe's innings, having arrived with the score on 68-5 after the home team opted to bat first. His late-innings hitting included five fours and four sixes.
Still, New Zealand's openers proved Zimbabwe should have made a much bigger score on the placid surface in Harare. Guptill struck 11 fours and a six, reached his century off 116 balls and faced 138 deliveries in all. Latham was even quicker to his century, off 106 balls, as New Zealand cantered home to send the series to a deciding game.
Zimbabwe surprisingly won the first ODI after chasing down New Zealand's 303-4 on Sunday.
The series decider will be played at the same venue on Friday.