Match Abandoned: BLACKCAPS 157-7 (Martin Guptill 100, Tinashe Panyangara 2-28, Elton Chigumbura 2-21) at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch
On a day of doom and gloom at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch, Martin Guptill’s century stood out like a beacon.
The warm up game against Zimbabwe for the ICC World Cup saw the BLACKCAPS make 157-7 after 30.1 rain interrupted overs.
There was brief respite from the rain early in the afternoon and a 30 over contest was muted, but the rain put paid to that and soon after the match was abandoned.
The shining light in the overcast and freezing conditions was Guptill who continues to grow in confidence in the countdown to the ICC World Cup.
The 28-year-old from Auckland was the spine of the BLACKCAPS batting effort as he made an impressive 100 off 86 balls.
Guptill, who will play his 100th ODI for New Zealand in the opening match of the ICC World Cup at Hagley Oval, a special milestone on the biggest stage possible, hit 13 fours and two sixes and brought up his century in blasé fashion.
His innings ended when he was caught at point by Tawanda Mupariwa from the bowling of Sikandar Raza as Zimbabwe made a bright start to the their World Cup preparation before the rain set in.
These warm up matches are not recognised as ODIs so Guptill’s century does not add to his five ODI tons in his 99 appearances, but it will give him even more belief after making a quality 76 at McLean Park last week against Pakistan.
Earlier in the day, Zimbabwean skipper Elton Chigumbura lost the toss and Brendon McCUllum was quick to say his side would bat first.
The skipper got off to a blazing start, with two fours in the opening over, but went for 8 after a sharp caught and bowled effort from Tinashe Panyangara.
That was a trend that many of his team-mates with Guptill having a number of new partners before he was dismissed in the middle of the innings, which was the last sign of any action.
Zimbabwean paceman Panyangara (2-28 off 5 overs) and Elton Chigumbura (2-21 from 7 overs) were the standouts from the visitors bowling effort as they put the pressure on the hosts who were looking to fine tune their preparation after a busy summer.
The BLACKCAPS will regroup tomorrow and take on South Africa at Hagley Oval on Wednesday in their final match ahead of the ICC World Cup.