HARARE: Debutant George Worker smashed a quickfire fifty as New Zealand hammered Zimbabwe by 80 runs in a one-off T20 international in Harare.
Worker clubbed 62 from 38 balls, including three fours and four sixes, as the Black Caps posted 198-5 before restricting Elton Chigumbura’s men to 118-8.
New Zealand’s victory follows their 2-1 triumph in the sides’ one-day series and sets them up neatly for the impending tour of South Africa, which will comprise two T20 games and three ODIs, with all the game being screened live on Sky Sports.
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson (20) creamed four boundaries, including three in Prosper Utseya’s first over, after his charges were put into bat before holing out to deep square leg attempting a pull in the fourth over.
Worker, the top run scorer in New Zealand’s domestic one-day tournament last summer, then came to the crease and shared 49-run partnerships with Martin Guptill (33) and Luke Ronchi (29) before bringing up his half century off only 33 balls with a six over long-on.
The left-hander was eventually castled with the score 142 in the 16th over but a blistering unbeaten stand of 41 in 2.4 overs between Colin Munro (23 from 11) and Nathan McCullum (18 from seven) swelled the Black Caps’ score, spinner Sean Williams (3-28) the pick of the hosts’ bowlers.
Zimbabwe’s chase stalled early on, openers Hamilton Masakadza (6) – on his 32nd birthday – and Chamu Chibhaba (6) sent packing by Adam Milne and James Neesham respectively with the score on 12.
Craig Ervine (42) showed some fight as wickets tumbled around him but the home team got nowhere near the Black Caps’ total, paceman Milne (2-10) and spinner Ish Sodhi (1-15) bowling especially frugal four-over spells.