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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Zimbabwe v New Zealand, Second Test, Day 3, Harare

Zimbabwe set their minds on saving the match with a single-minded determination that rarely included scoring shots before lunch, when in 32 overs they added 40 runs without losing a wicket. Then in the afternoon they threw it all away with a spineless display of batting that saw them slump to 166 all out. By the close, following on, they had scored six for one wicket off 13 overs.

Grant Flower and Carlisle began the morning with some enterprise, choosing the right balls to hit and keeping the board ticking over. New Zealand tightened up, however, concentrating on accuracy and defensive field placings, and the result was eight maiden overs in succession after morning drinks, with the score stuck on 55 for one.

Carlisle's concentration soon snapped after lunch, as he cut Cairns, but the thick edge sailed straight into the hands of Sinclair at third man. He scored 31, and Zimbabwe were 76 for two. One run later Campbell was on his way without scoring, a lifting ball from O'Connor catching the shoulder of his bat and ending in the hands of Fleming at first slip.

This situation was ideal for the determination of the Flower brothers, as Andy joined Grant, and the two combined solidity with the ability to keep the score moving. Grant was stuck on 49, on the verge of his first Test fifty for three years, while Andy was soon punching the ball square on the off side in his usual style. Grant was doomed to fall short again, losing patience, flashing outside the off stump and being well caught at the wicket by Parore after 286 minutes at the crease; 118 for four.

Andy continued to go for his strokes but lost Whittall on the stroke of tea, prodding outside off stump to Astle and being caught at the wicket for 9; 146 for five. Like Grant, Andy fell just short of his 50, scoring 48 before moving in front of his stumps to be lbw to McMillan. Nkala fell first ball, caught at the wicket, and now, it seemed, Zimbabwe were on the slide towards the follow-on and defeat at 151 for seven.

Streak (8) briefly appeared to be making a fight of it until playing a baseball shot to a ball from O'Connor outside off stump, to lob a fairly easy catch to Wiseman at mid-off; 157 for eight. Olonga (4) was caught at the wicket off Nash and the innings came to a feeble end when Strang (5) slashed at O'Connor to give Parore his fifth catch. Zimbabwe were all out for 166, a deficit of 299, and the last six batsmen had capitulated for just 20 runs.

Zimbabwe were required to follow on, and it now seemed the policy was to avoid scoring altogether. Rennie (1) was caught by Spearman at third slip in the seventh over, and this was the only run on the board. Carlisle cut a four, and took a single in the final over, leaving Grant Flower still to score after facing 44 balls in 51 minutes.

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