Rain aids New Zealand progress
New Zealand advanced to the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights courtesy of a seven-run victory over Zimbabwe in a rain-shortened game at Providence Stadium in Guyana.
New Zealand bowled Zimbabwe out for just 84 and reached 36 for one in reply after 8.1 overs when rain intervened and no further play was possible.
Nathan McCullum and Scott Styris each took three wickets in an over to put their side on course for a second group win and leave Zimbabwe on the brink of elimination after their defeat by Sri Lanka yesterday.
With showers again forecast throughout the day in Georgetown and the Duckworth-Lewis method always likely to play a part - as it had on Monday - New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori would have been happy to win the toss, allowing him to bowl first.
Zimbabwe got off to a solid start with Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza putting on 36 before Taibu was caught by Jacob Oram off Tim Southee for 21 in the fifth over.
However, Masakadza was run out for 20 to spark a Zimbabwe collapse, with five wickets falling in the space of 15 balls.
Vettori struck in his first over by bowling Andy Blignaut for eight, before McCullum’s triple strike. He had Elton Chigumbura caught by Martin Guptill and took a return catch to account for Charles Coventry before Craig Ervine was stumped by Gareth Hopkins.
Styris repeated the feat in the 13th over - he conceded just five runs in two overs - to end Zimbabwe’s hopes of a respectable total, and Vettori returned to the attack to bowl Ray Price.
Zimbabwe broke through early in New Zealand’s reply when Taibu caught Jesse Ryder off captain Prosper Utseya in the third over.
Rain stopped play after 8.1 overs with New Zealand 36 for one, putting them ahead of the par score by seven runs - the official margin of victory.
The rain did stop but, with insufficient time to complete the game - England met Ireland at the same venue later in the evening - New Zealand’s progress to the knockout stages was confirmed.