WHANGAREI  - Opener Rob Nicol made the fifth highest one-day international score by a New Zealand batsman Monday as his side beat Zimbabwe by 141 runs in the second one-day international in Whangarei.

The victory at Cobham Oval, following the 90-run win in the first ODI, gave New Zealand an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Nicol's man-of-the-match 146 off 134 balls was the rock upon which New Zealand built a comprehensive 372 for six before Jacob Oram led a bowling attack that restricted Zimbabwe to 231 for eight. It was Nicol's second century in only his fifth ODI.

Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor admitted his team "were outplayed by a much better side again. After rain delayed the start of play for 35 minutes, New Zealand made a cautious start with two maiden overs before Nicol opened the scoring with an unorthodox slog which resulted in a top edge over slips for four.

But from there his innings was near faultless, as he stood in a 131-run partnership with Guptill, then a 77-run stand with Oram. Nicol was particularly belligerent in the closing stages. He was in a 92-run partnership in eight overs with Latham for the fifth wicket before he was caught at deep midwicket by Shingi Masakadza off Prosper Utseya. Utseya was the most successful of the Zimbabwe bowlers, taking three for 71 off his 10 overs. Oram, McCullum (20 off 18) and Latham all survived catching chances and collectively added 64 runs before being dismissed.

Faced with a daunting target, Zimbabwe were in early trouble with the wicket of Masakadza in the second over starting a collapse that saw them at 62 for five in the 20th over. Taibu and Chigumbura steadied the innings by putting on 80 runs for the sixth wicket before Nicol capped his stellar day by dismissing Taibu for 50.

Chigumbura followed soon after for 63, bowled by Oram leaving Utseya, unbeaten on 27, and Shingi Masakadza who made 38 off 31 deliveries.

     scoreboard

NEW ZEALAND:

R Nicol c S Masakadza b Utseya    146

M Guptill c S Masakadza b Price    77

J Oram c Chakabva b H Masakadza    59

B McCullum c S. Masakadza b Utseya    20

K Williamson c H Masakadza b Utseya    4

T Latham b S Masakadza    48

D Brownlie not out    2

A Ellis not out    7

EXTRAS: (b 1, lb 1, w 7)    9

TOTAL: (6 wickets; 50 overs)    372

FOW: 1-131, 2-208, 3-246, 4-261, 5-353, 6-364

BOWLING: S Masakadza 8-1-68-1, Jarvis 9-1-73-0, Utseya 10-0-71-3, Chigumbura 8-0-55-0, Price 10-0-67-1, H Masakadza 5-0-36-1

ZIMBABWE:

H Masakadza c Brownlie b Southee    5

S Matsikenyeri c Ellis b Mills    3

R Chakabva lbw b Oram    11

B Taylor c McCullum b Mills    4

T Taibu c Nethula b Nicol    50

M Waller c McCullum b Oram    18

E Chigumbura b Oram    63

P Utseya not out    27

S Masakadza c Ellis b Williamson    38

R Price not out    0

EXTRAS: (lb4, w8)    12

TOTAL: (8 wickets; 50 overs)    231

FOW: 1-5, 2-12, 3-17, 4-35, 5-62, 6-142, 7-167, 8-231

BOWLING: Mills 8-1-27-2, Southee 10-0-50-1, Oram 10-1-29-3, Nethula 10-0-55-0, Nicol 4-0-25-1, Ellis 5-0-25-0, Williamson 3-0-16-1

Man-of-the match: Rob Nicol

Toss: Zimbabwe