Batsmen cash in on flat pitch
New Zealand A 329 for 4 (Franklin 44*, Young 33*, Ncube 2-42) vs Zimbabwe A
New Zealand A's batsmen dominated the opening day of the second unofficial Test against Zimbabwe A on another benign pitch, this time at the Country Club in Harare. Openers Tim McIntosh and Jamie How put on an unflustered 160 for the first wicket, How reaching a 13th first-class hundred before he was caught behind off Njabulo Ncube. Njabulo's two economical wickets meant he was the most impressive bowler on show, and New Zealand eased to a massive 329 for 4 at stumps.
Visiting captain James Franklin opted for first use of a flat pitch after winning the toss and after seeing off the new ball his openers made light work of Zimbabwe's change bowlers. McIntosh fell after passing a relatively sedate half-century, edging seamer Taurai Muzarabani behind, but How continued unabated even after the loss of Daniel Flynn to Malcolm Waller's offspin.
After his dismissal for 115, Martin Guptill eased towards a fifty but fell four runs short to become Ncube's second victim before Franklin and wicketkeeper Reece Young settled in against the old ball. Franklin neared his own half-century, finishing unbeaten on 44 as Zimbabwe failed to break through after taking the second new ball shortly before the close of play.