8 Aug 2015

Williamson leads Black Caps to series win

7:16 am on 8 August 2015

The New Zealand men have won the one day cricket series against Zimbabwe with a 38-run victory in the third and final match at Harare.

The Black Caps wrapped up the 2-1 series win, thanks largely to stand-in captain Kane Williamson's knock of 90.

See how the match unfolded here

A fist pump is as emotional as Kane Williamson gets on the cricket field.

Kane Williamson's been in outstanding form Photo: Photosport

But they had to do it without senior batsman Ross Taylor, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour after requiring minor surgery to his groin.

Taylor was struck in the area on Thursday and underwent surgery that night, before it was confirmed he would not take part in the remaining games in Zimbabwe - or the South African leg.

New Zealand drafted James Neesham back into their side for the third ODI as a result, while Ben Wheeler came in for Matt Henry.

Williamson recorded his sixth straight score of 50 or more to guide the tourists to 273 for six batting first, and the bowlers then restricted the hosts to 235 all out in the 48th over.

And although Zimbabwe's opening stand gave the World Cup finalists a scare, the bowlers held their nerve to restrict the hosts to 235 all out in the 48th over.

New Zealand therefore completed a come-from-behind series victory, having lost the first ODI by seven wickets.

"It certainly wasn't easy today, so the way that the boys stuck in it and put up a competitive total was a really good effort," said Williamson, who was named man of the match and man of the series.

"We thought it was a very good total until Zimbabwe came out and played the way they did and put us under a lot of pressure, but full credit to our boys for learning from that first game and pulling it back nicely."

On a dry wicket, New Zealand's batsmen were tested by Zimbabwe's spin duo of Graeme Cremer and John Nyumbu, who took five wickets between them.

Off-spinner Nyumbu made the initial breakthrough when he dismissed Tom Latham, and after New Zealand rebuilt to 100 for one, Cremer had Martin Guptill caught at slip for 42 and then spun one through the defences of Colin Munro.

Williamson added 70 for the fourth wicket with Grant Elliott, but New Zealand were pegged back when Cremer dismissed Elliott for 36, and Williamson was brilliantly caught on the boundary for 90 off Nyumbu's bowling.

Although James Neesham and Nathan McCullum boosted the New Zealand total with an unbroken stand of 50 from 25 balls, Zimbabwe were on track to chase down the target when Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha put on 97 for the first wicket.

It required a timely intervention from Mitchell McClenaghan to pull things back as he bowled Chibhabha for 32, before Masakadza struck a short ball from Williamson straight to deep midwicket and departed for 57.

A budding partnership between Craig Ervine and Sean Williams was then snaffled out by Ben Wheeler's sharp fielding off his own bowling, and although Williams went on to hit 63, McClenaghan returned to grab two more wickets and finish with figures of 3-36 as New Zealand won comfortably enough.

"Our batting let us down - I thought it was a reasonable score to chase," Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said.

The two teams will meet again at Harare Sports Club on Sunday for a one-off Twenty20 international, when New Zealand will once again be without Ross Taylor, who's had surgery on a groin injury and will skip the rest of the tour.