Zimbabwe v New Zealand, only Test, Bulawayo, 2nd day November 2, 2011

Zimbabwe steady in reply to NZ's 426


Zimbabwe 82 for 1 (Sibanda 53*) trail New Zealand 426 (Guptill 109, Taylor 76, Brownlie 63, Mpofu 4-92) by 344 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Zimbabwe ran through the lower half of the New Zealand batting, limiting the damage that Daniel Vettori and Dean Brownlie threatened to do in a brisk sixth-wicket partnership which had given the stalled innings the move-on it needed. Chris Mpofu and Ray Price took five wickets for 25 runs as New Zealand stumbled from 401 for 5 with Vettori and Brownlie in charge. Vusi Sibanda led a cautious, but solid, reply as the New Zealand bowlers failed to improve on their Zimbabwe counterparts in getting much out of a pitch which remained largely placid.

Vettori's positive approach with the bat quickened the tempo of the innings considerably and also rubbed off on debutant Brownlie, who had gone nowhere in the company of BJ Watling in a sleepy first session which brought only 52 runs at less than two an over.

Ray Price, who had tied New Zealand down with his line outside leg from over the wicket, was whipped for four between mid-on and midwicket second ball after lunch. Vettori took Price on again in his next over, chipping him for a six over mid-on. He then square-drove, pulled and cut Njabulo Ncube for fours. Brownlie warmed up to Vettori's method and charged out to Price to drive him for a straight four. He was now a transformed batsman, punching Kyle Jarvis for boundaries and soon bringing up his debut fifty.

New Zealand went past 400 with a Vettori flick-pull off Jarvis over square leg. The partnership was growing at well over four an over but Price's line outside leg finally brought him reward when Brownlie edged an attempted slog-sweep to slip. Mpofu had Vettori edging to slip five overs later for a 40 that was worth much more in terms of its impact. The tail caved in with Chris Martin getting his 30th Test duck and Mpofu ended with his best figures, 4 for 92.

Vettori's effort was put in perspective by the way New Zealand had stalled in the morning after gifting the fourth wicket of their innings to Zimbabwe. Ross Taylor departed in the second over of the day without adding to his 76, chasing a wide delivery to give Ncube and wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva their maiden Test dismissals. Watling and especially, Brownlie, struggled to find runs as Zimbabwe repeated the strategy which had kept New Zealand in check yesterday - bowling straight with run-saving fields.

A start delayed by 45 minutes due to rain meant there was some nip off the otherwise lifeless surface for the first hour, and Jarvis and Ncube used it to keep the batsmen cautious. Jarvis and Ncube made way for Mpofu and Hamilton Masakadza but Watling and Brownlie were not allowed to get away. Brendan Taylor put men at short mid-on, short extra cover and short midwicket which made run-scoring even more difficult against the lesser pace of Masakadza and Mpofu.

New Zealand settled into a pattern of playing out maidens before a short Mpofu delivery kicked at Watling and took the edge for Chakabva to take a diving catch. Price now began to bowl outside leg from over the stumps, further squeezing the almost non-existent run-flow. Brownlie cut Mpofu just before lunch for the first four in almost 15 overs but Zimbabwe had already won their first session of the game before Vettori and Brownlie got into the act.

Zimbabwe were in no hurry to push on with the bat with Hamilton Masakadza appearing to be playing for stumps all along. Doug Bracewell bowled six consecutive maidens on Test debut but the new ball didn't do much for the New Zealand seamers. Vettori got the breakthrough in his second over, trapping Tino Mawoyo leg-before with an arm ball after a couple of close appeals in the same over.

Sibanda pulled eagerly as usual - for three fours - and almost got into trouble when one attempt landed in front of a not-so-deep square leg. He reached his fifty with a worked four off Vettori in the last over of the day and will be key tomorrow in Zimbabwe's attempt to get close to New Zealand's total.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Masakadza has to exit the team his lived on his 2001 century vs WI for far too long now, open yr eyes and see selector, he is not international cricket material, RUBBISH.

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    zimbabwe will respond posivitely.. l suggest vusi and masakadza wil add 200+ to the srore board and Talyor will come in later to polish up things for zim.. lets support our team ZIMBO>>GO GO

  • Aubokwe on November 3, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Disciplined bolwing from Mpofu, but might have to improve his pace. If Zim manages to bat and avoid early collapses a draw is the most likely score.

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    I'd be happy for Vusi and Hami to make centuries and for some really strong partnerships from the middle. Otherwise, not bad Zim, not bad at all.

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    i'm quite devastated that fox sports isnt covering this rivetting affair,i've had to revert to cricinfo updates to find out whose winning the 2 runs an over,1wicket a session excite-athon. day 3 is all about vettori, if he doesnt take wickets zims will bat all day and salvage a draw. it's possible he may take at least 4 or 5 and put the kiwis in a winning position.as for zimbabwe declaring anytime in the next day and a half...you really should make sure people know what they are talking about before they come on here

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2011, 0:29 GMT

    people have got to remember new zealand are missing key players in their middle to lower order such as jesse ryder kyle mills and tim southee. Zimbabwe are playing quite well in this test you have to play whats in front of you at the end of the day. day 3 is an important day if not many wickets are taken or runs scored expect zimbabwe to declare bout 50-100 runs ahead to try and force a result might even declare 50 -70 runs behind to force a result

  • Andrew on November 3, 2011, 0:27 GMT

    At this stage the match is well set. Good contest put up by Zimbabwe, I expect Vettori will get amongst the wickets on Day 3. For Zim to win they will need to bat into Day 4 & have a lead of 150.

  • Peterincanada on November 2, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    I read that Guptill expects the pich to break up. I hope it starts giving bowlers help preferably late on day 3 or early on day 4 o/wise this match will be a classic bore.

  • Dummy4 on November 2, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    The trajectory of this game is now in the hands of the first session of this morning..If Zim keep wickets they are in with a big chance to win or at least salvage a draw.

  • Dummy4 on November 2, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    Nishant, what on earth are you talking about? Before McCullum was promoted and after Fleming retired, New Zealand hasn't had anything apart from a lower-middle order!

    The selectors need to stop mucking Williamson about. He is a quality player and deserves a single spot. If he wants the 6 spot (my preference) or the 3 spot, give it to him. He has clear talent, scoring a test century on debut against India. Having Williamson at six would have avoided the strangehold that Zimbabwe were able to place on the debutant batsmen.

    Bracewell is bowling well. Look forward to more quality work from this player.

    I think Young will stay in the side for the big tests against SA and Australia, even though it may have been better to blood a better batsman... why do we need three wicketkeepers in the side? McCullum and Watling could have easily covered...

    That's not to take anything anyway from Zimbabwe, they played well.

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