New Zealand XI v Zimbabweans, Gisborne, 1st day January 23, 2012

New Zealand XI top order clicks in draw

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand XI 272 for 7 (Watling 84, Wells 65) & 274 for 5 (van Wyk 61, Taylor 54, Williamson 52) drew with Zimbabweans 329 (Chakabva 87*, Taibu 66, Wagner 3-86)

While the three-day tour match in Gisborne ended in an expected draw, the New Zealand XI top order that had failed in the first innings came good this time round, scoring freely against the Zimbabweans. Most significantly, Kruger van Wyk, who is in a race for wicketkeeper's spot in the Test XI with BJ Watling, scored a half-century. Watling, who is the favourite to make the XI, had made 84 in the first innings.

Apart from van Wyk, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor also made half-centuries before retiring, while Daniel Vettori remained unbeaten on 41 as New Zealand finished on 274 for 5. The only Zimbabwean bowler to strike was Graeme Cremer, who bowled opener Michael Bracewell with his legspin. All the other bowlers were on the expensive side - only Brian Vitori and Shingi Masakadza managed to maintain an economy rate of under four an over.

Earlier in the day, the New Zealand XI took three overs to pick up the one remaining wicket in the Zimbabweans' innings. Sam Wells, the Otago medium-pacer who has been added to the squad for the one-off Test, claimed the wicket. He had Ray Price caught, as the Zimbabweans finished on 329 with Regis Chakabva stranded on 87.