Harare, Zimbabwe: Craig Ervine blasted Zimbabwe to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the first one-day international on Sunday.
His 130 not out took the host to its target of 304 with an over to spare for an early lead in the three-match series — a rare second straight win for Zimbabwe after it beat India in a Twenty20 game recently.
Left-hander Ervine's match-winning innings against New Zealand was his first ODI century. His 130 came off just 108 balls and was punctuated by 11 fours and five sixes.
Zimbabwe scored 304-3 at Harare Sports Club after New Zealand had posted 303-4, with 112 not out from Ross Taylor and 97 from stand-in captain Kane Williamson.
Zimbabwe opener Hamilton Masakadza started the chase strongly, making 84. Ervine then took over, reaching his maiden one-day hundred off 99 balls.
Facing 16 to win off the last two overs, it was still a tricky chase for Zimbabwe. But Ervine and Sean Williams took 15 off seam bowler James Neesham in the second-last over, with Ervine carving a four and a six over midwicket off the last two balls.
Ervine had leveled the scores with his big six and Zimbabwe won when Nathan McCullum bowled a wide first delivery of the final over.
McCullum was New Zealand's only wicket taker with 3-62.
New Zealand had set a big target and appeared on course for victory after Taylor's 16th ODI century and his 137-run partnership with Williamson, who is standing in for Brendon McCullum as captain.
New Zealand is warming up in Zimbabwe ahead of a limited-overs tour of South Africa later this month. The second one-dayer is on Tuesday.AP