Playing for New Zealand against Zimbabwe in the second One-Day International (ODI) at Harare Sports Club, Tom Latham and Martin Guptill made a challenging target of 236 look ridiculously small. Not only did they chase it down with 48 balls to spare, but they remained at the crease when Sean Williams’ five wides brought up the winning runs for New Zealand. Latham and Guptill matched each other’s scores: while Latham was the faster, finishing with a 116-ball 110 with 7 fours and 2 sixes, Guptill’s relatively sedate contribution read a 138-ball 116 with 11 fours and a six. The Zimbabwean specialist bowlers did not perform too poorly, but they could not break down the iron defence of Latham and Guptill. They were named joint Men of the Match.
In the process Latham and Guptill also registered the highest ODI partnership by any side in a 10-wicket victory, going past the unbeaten 231 put up by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga against England at Premadasa in World Cup 2011.
This was also the second-highest ODI opening stand batting second. The record is still a whopping 286, held by Sanath Jayasuriya and Tharanga against England at Headingley in 2006.
Guptill and Latham also registered (a) the second-highest ODI opening stand for New Zealand, bettered only by the 274 between Brendon McCullum and James Marshall against Ireland at Aberdeen in 2008; (b) the second-highest ODI opening stand against Zimbabwe, the best being 282 between Dilshan and Tharanga (not again!) at Pallekele in 2011; and (c) the highest ODI opening stand in Zimbabwe.