5 Aug 2015

Latham notches up first ODI ton in Black Caps win

11:18 am on 5 August 2015

New Zealand opening batsman Tom Latham celebrated his maiden ODI ton as he helped the Black Caps to a 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the second match in Harare.

The New Zealand cricketers have beaten Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in Harere to level their three-match, one-day series at 1-all.

The Black Caps batsman Tom Latham.

The Black Caps batsman Tom Latham. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The locals scored 235 for nine which Latham and Martin Guptill chased down with almost 8 overs to spare.

Both scored centuries, Latham's first in his 28 matches for his country.

"Yea it was nice to finally get that monkey off the back, played a few ODIs now and only had one 50 so it's nice to get a few runs today."

"Gup (Martin Guptill) was a big influence in that, he kept me level headed and we just kept trying to knock it off 10 runs at a time and it was nice to get a 10 wicket win," said Latham.

The pair set a new record for the highest successful chase in an ODI without losing a wicket, bettering the 231 that Sri Lanka managed in a 10-wicket win over England in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final.

Captain Kane Williamson said it was, "great to have a performance like this in contrast to the one that we had in the last game. You can see a lot of learning there."

Zimbabwe were left to wonder whether they had made the right call at the toss, when Elton Chigumbura went against conventional wisdom and elected to bat first.

The decision backfired when the hosts crumbled in the face of some aggressive New Zealand bowling, losing their top five inside the first 18 overs.

While Grant Elliott used the swing on offer to dismiss Craig Ervine and Chigumbura, legspinner Ish Sodhi picked up his first wickets in ODI cricket on his way to figures of 3 for 38.

Chigumbura says he thought it was a good wicket to bat on, "it's just that they didn't execute well."

Zimbabwe were grateful to Sikandar Raza Butt for hauling them to a vaguely respectable score, with his 100 not out rescuing the home side from 68 for five and then 146 for eight.

He rebuilt the innings with a 60-run stand for the sixth wicket with Sean Williams, and an 89-run stand for the ninth wicket with Tinashe Panyangara, who made a career-best 33.

Raza enjoyed some fortune when he was dropped on 67, and reached his third ODI hundred off the penultimate delivery of the innings.

Zimbabwe needed early wickets if they were going to challenge, but the seamers lacked control up front and Guptill and Latham were allowed to settle.

The pair were never troubled as they set a new record for an ODI partnership in Zimbabwe, eclipsing the 228 put on by Pakistan's Imran Farhat and Mohammad Hafeez in 2011.

The series decider will take place at the same venue on Friday.