New Zealand A in control after Zimbabwe follow-on
Zimbabwe A 164 for 4 (Marillier 50) and 256 (Maruma 62*, Waller 53, Franklin 5-22) trail New Zealand A 526 for 8 dec (How 115, Hopkins 100, Ncube 3-87) by 106 runs
New Zealand A bowled themselves into a position of complete control on the third day of the second unofficial Test, making Zimbabwe A follow-on, and then picking up four second-innings wickets to leave the hosts struggling to save the game.
Malcolm Waller and Forster Mutizwa, who had steadied the innings on the second day after Zimbabwe had stumbled to 61 for 4, were going to be crucial if they were to avoid the follow-on. The duo began positively, adding 41 in the first six overs. However, Chris Martin struck a huge blow when he bowled Mutizwa for 47 with the first ball of the day's seventh over. Zimbabwe slipped further in the next over, when Waller was run out by Martin Guptill for 53, while attempting a third run with the follow-on mark still 229 runs away.
Timycen Maruma resisted with an aggressive half-century, slamming six fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 62 off 78 balls, but lacked support from the other batsmen. James Franklin ran through the lower order, finishing with his 14th first-class five-wicket haul, as Zimbabwe folded up for 256.
They began promisingly in the follow-on innings with a 51-run opening stand. Brent Arnel, who was getting some movement off the seam, got the breakthrough, getting Tino Mawoyo caught by Tim McIntosh in the slips. Mutizwa was promoted three places to No. 3, and had motored along to 36 before Arnel struck again, getting him caught by Jamie How, again in the slips. Arnel then dismissed opener Steve Marillier, who had batted patiently for his 50. Punjab-born Auckland offspinner Bhupinder Singh removed Vusi Sibanda late in the afternoon to compound Zimbabwe's woes as they slipped to 155 for 4.
Zimbabwe's hopes now rest on Waller, who remained unbeaten on 15, and Charles Coventry, yet to come in, if they are to save this match.