HARARE, Aug 2: Craig Ervine crunched 130 not out from 108 balls in Harare � an innings that featured 11 fours and five maximums � as the hosts chased down New Zealand�s 303-4 with six balls to spare, Nathan McCullum�s wide at the start of the 50th over handing Zimbabwe a memorable triumph.
Ross Taylor had earlier scored an unbeaten 112 from 122 balls for New Zealand and shared a 137-run stand with Kane Williamson (97) for the third wicket � the pair�s fourth hundred partnership in succession � but Ervine�s pyrotechnics meant those efforts were in vain.
New Zealand � playing as the country�s indigenous name Aotearoa to celebrate Maori language week � were reduced to 39-2 after losing the toss, Martin Guptill (11) edging Tinashe Panyangara to slip before fellow opener Tom Latham (14) pulled a Chamu Chibhabha ball onto his stumps.
Williamson � deputising as Black Caps skipper for the rested Brendon McCullum on this tour as well as the trip to South Africa later this month � had an early scare, nearly inside-edging onto his timbers, but looked in cracking form as he blasted 11 fours and a six from his 102 deliveries.
The 24-year-old was dismissed for the fifth time in the nineties in ODI cricket when he chopped on aiming to dab Panyangara (2-50) down to third man in the 37th over, but Taylor and Grant Elliott (43 from 32) then thumped 79 runs from the next 57 balls.
Elliott was run out in the 46th over, at which point Taylor accelerated even further, the right-hander ending his innings with a total of six fours and three sixes as he chalked up his third ton in five matches - the other two coming against England - and the 15th of his career.
Zimbabwe shipped 115 runs from the final 10 overs � Christopher Mpofu (0-84) taking plenty of punishment � but the hosts wrestled back the momentum when they came out to bat.
Hamilton Masakadza (84) and Chibhabha (42) put on 74 for the first wicket against a bowling attack missing Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Corey Anderson, with Masakadza and Ervine than smashing a further 120 in 20.1 overs as Zimbabwe reached 194-1.
Masakadza clipped spinner McCullum (3-63) behind to wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi but there was to be no stopping Ervine, the 29-year-old � whose previous best ODI score was the 85 he plundered against Canada in the 2011 World Cup � bringing up his ton off 99 deliveries.
New Zealand: MJ Guptill c Masakadza b Panyangara 11, TWM Latham b Chibhabha 14, KS Williamson b Panyangara 97, LRPL Taylor not out 112, GD Elliott run out (Williams/�Chakabva) 43, JDS Neesham not out 14. Extras: (lb 4, w 7, nb 1) 12. Total: (4 wickets; 50 overs) 303. Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-39, 3-176, 4-255. Bowling: CB Mpofu 10-0-84-0, T Panyangara 10-0-50-2, CJ Chibhabha 7-2-32-1, P Utseya 7-0-43-0, AG Cremer 10-0-48-0, SC Williams 4-0-27-0, Sikandar Raza 2-0-15-0.
Zimbabwe: H Masakadza c Ronchi b McCullum 84, CJ Chibhabha b McCullum 42, CR Ervine not out 130, E Chigumbura c Guptill b McCullum 26, SC Williams not out 7. Extras: (lb 1, w 13, nb 1) 15. Total: (3 wickets; 49 overs) 304. Fall of wickets: 1-74, 2-194, 3-260. Bowling: MJ Henry 9-0-58-0, MJ McClenaghan 9-0-47-0, JDS Neesham 7-0-44-0, NL McCullum 9-0-62-3, IS Sodhi 10-1-65-0, GD Elliott 3-0-17-0, KS Williamson 2-0-10-0. (Agencies)