Kiwi duo make dream debuts
Nicol and Bracewell star in Harare win
Last Updated: 20/10/11 7:26pm
Rob Nicol: scored 108 not out on debut
Rob Nicol marked his one-day international debut with an unbeaten century as New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by nine wickets in the series opener in Harare.
Set a target of 232, opening batsman Nicol finished unbeaten on 108 to guide the Black Caps over the line with 6.3 overs to spare.
The 28-year-old put on 153 with Martin Guptill for the first wicket before Guptill fell to Hamilton Masakadza's bowling for 74.
But Nicol, who went to three figures from 120 balls, was joined by Brendon McCullum (39no) in an unbroken second-wicket alliance of 79.
Earlier, Zimbabwe recovered from 21-4 to reach a final total of 231-6 thanks to skipper Brendan Taylor's 128 not out.
Nicol's fellow debutant Doug Bracewell (3-55) did the early damage with the new ball as the hosts' top-order capitulated after Taylor opted to bat first.
But Taylor and Forster Mutizwa led a recovery during a fifth-wicket partnership of 156 spanning more than 30 overs.
Mutizwa (69) was the first of two victims for left-arm seamer James Franklin (2-37) but Taylor - who faced 120 balls and hit seven fours and two sixes - batted through.
The three-match series continues on Saturday at the same venue.