At Harare Sports Club, November 7, 9, 10, 11, 12. New Zealand won by 177 runs. Toss: New Zealand. Test debuts: D. H. Brain; D. J. Nash.
Zimbabwe lost their record as Test cricket's only unbeaten nation in their third match. Panic and despondency - for no apparent reason - combined with a match-winning six for 50 from Patel saw them collapse for 137 on the final day. It was New Zealand's first Test victory in 11 Tests since they beat Australia at Wellington in 1989-90 and their first away from home since they beat India at Bombay in 1988-89.
New Zealand substituted Dion Nash for Doull, who had succumbed to a stress fracture of the back. After Crowe won the toss, he chose to bat and justified his confidence in the pitch's suitability to strokeplay with his 14th Test hundred, taking 96 runs between lunch and tea. In all he scored 140 from 163 balls, striking 17 fours and three sixes, and shared 168 in 36 overs with Rutherford for the fourth wicket. Next day, in the limited-overs international which - unprecedentedly - interrupted the Test, he made 94. Resuming the game on Monday, New Zealand lost their last four wickets for 21 runs; Rutherford complained that playing a one-day match in mid-Test innings was too taxing, both mentally and physically.
Zimbabwe recovered from the early loss of Grant Flower through a 107-run stand between Arnott and Campbell, who made his maiden Test fifty. But a burst of three wickets for no runs in seven balls from Su'a put his team back on course on the rain-shortened third day, on the way to his first five-wicket return in Tests. Houghton declared 52 behind and New Zealand set about building a target. Crowe, now limping with ankle and thigh strains, Rutherford and Patel took them to 262 in five and a quarter hours before asking Zimbabwe to score 315 in 71 overs. At lunch the home team were 25 for two, but disaster struck in the afternoon session as they slumped to 94 for eight. Patel had taken five for 32 and when he dismissed last man Traicos in the evening had improved his Test figures for the third match running. Dickie Bird could also celebrate as he became the first umpire to stand in 50 Tests.
Close of play: First day, New Zealand 314-6 (K. R. Rutherford 72*, D. J. Nash 0*); Second day, Zimbabwe 173-3 (A. J. Pycroft 38*, D. L. Houghton 7*); Third day, Zimbabwe 228-6 (A. Flower 8*, G. J. Crocker 8*); Fourth day, New Zealand 187-4 (K. R. Rutherford 57*, D. N. Patel 16*).