September 13, 2000

First Test, Day 2, close of play report

Zimbabwe's first innings total of 350 at tea on the second day, off 175.2 overs, was overall a laborious effort, with occasional bright intervals.

Campbell and Streak passed fifty, while ten batsmen reached double figures. Off-spinner Wiseman, with five for 90, was New Zealand's best bowler. At the close the match was still finely balanced with New Zealand on 62 for two.

Their policy at the start was clearly to bat positively. Campbell and Wishart did so entertainingly for half an hour as the former ran to his first Test fifty for many a long moon - since Wellington, New Zealand, in early 1998, in fact. He immediately lost Wishart (17), superbly caught off bat and pad at short leg by the diving Richardson off Wiseman, who opened the bowling, and Zimbabwe were 206 for five.

Streak fought through an uncomfortable period against the spin of Vettori and Wiseman to hit the former for a straight six, but his main aim was to support Campbell. At lunch Zimbabwe were 251 for five (Campbell 73, Streak 19) off 138 overs.

Campbell dried up in the eighties and was doomed yet again to miss a Test century. Playing forward to Astle, he was struck high on the roll of the pad and given out lbw by umpire Hair for 88; Zimbabwe 282 for six. He walked off a bitterly disappointed man.

Streak now began to show more aggression and swung Wiseman over midwicket for six. Strang, in his first Test match for three years, failed to score, pushing Wiseman to short leg where Richardson took another superb diving catch; 291 for seven. With Nkala as his partner, Streak ran to his third Test fifty, but on 51 was most unluckily out. Padding up to Wiseman, he found the ball bouncing off pad, armpit and the back of his bat to be caught by Parore; 300 for eight.

Bryan Strang (10) had some byplay with O'Connor, but fell to him fencing down the leg side to be caught by Parore, after an entertaining stand with Nkala; 323 for nine. New Zealand then had to endure a frustrating last-wicket stand between Nkala (30 not out) and Mutendera (10), which included a six over long-off by the latter off Vettori before he had his leg stump removed by Cairns. Zimbabwe had exactly reached their minimum target, according to Streak, of 350.

New Zealand, in contrast to Zimbabwe, were positive from the start against some rather erratic bowling by Streak and Nkala. At 15, though, Richardson (6) slashed Streak to Carlisle at backward point, while Horne had an escape on 13 when he hooked a no-ball from Streak straight to Nkala at fine leg.

As close of play approached New Zealand became more defensive, and Sinclair, padding up to Strang, was surprised by the googly and given out lbw for 12; New Zealand 52 for two. At the close they had added a further ten runs, with Horne on 40 and nightwatchman Wiseman 1.