September 20, 2000

Mark Richardson's day will come

[Chris Cairns]

Don't worry too much about Mark Richardson's dismissal for 99 on the first day of the second Test.

We all felt gutted for him after he had batted all day to be out in the last over for that score.

But from what I have seen of him on this tour his first Test century won't be too far away.

Nathan Astle also played well, so for him, and the rest of us, there has been a great foundation laid to get a big first innings score which we need to capitalise on.

Once again the pitch for this Test is a very good batting wicket and, after blue skies greeted us this morning, it was a relief to see Flem call correctly and have a bat.

After a shaky start the guys regrouped and we finished the day strong, although it was tinged with sadness for Mark.

Back-to-back Tests are very tough so we were pleased to have Sunday off after flying from Bulawayo to Harare and then full practice on Monday.

On reflection, we were pleased with our performance in the first Test. After the first three days most people would have thought the game was heading for a tame draw. We were still optimistic. We felt if we could post a decent first innings score, and get close to their 350, we were still in the hunt.

Matt Horne laid a great foundation with his century and was backed up by that fine partnership between Adam Parore and Dan Vettori to get us within 12 runs of the Zims.

We knew some early wickets would see us back in the game but we also realised how tough it would be without Dan V who was suffering from a recurrence of the back injury he had in New Zealand last season.

Knowing there would be an extra workload, the bowlers responded very well to bowl out the Zims cheaply and set up the victory.

Paul Wiseman produced what I think was his most consistent match bowling in his Test career, bowling with great accuracy to pick up eight wickets for the match and a very deserved man of the match award.

I was lucky to pick up five wickets in the second innings and must say that was very pleasing as there was not a lot in the wicket for the seam bowlers. To polish off the victory for three down was great. While we were all very exhausted at the end of the match we were delighted with the result as it is only the second time Zimbabwe have been beaten in Bulawayo in eight Tests.