2nd Test, Harare, September 19 - 23, 2000, New Zealand tour of Zimbabwe
(T:72) 465 & 74/2
(f/o) 166 & 370

New Zealand won by 8 wickets

Player Of The Match
124, 2/33 & 2/80

Records mount up as experience deepens

It's a sure sign of experience developing in any cricket side when the milestones begin to tumble with more regularity

Lynn McConnell
It's a sure sign of experience developing in any cricket side when the milestones begin to tumble with more regularity.
That is the case for the New Zealand team which is emerging well and truly from the development phase it has been in for the last four or five years.
Yesterday's eight wicket win over Zimbabwe to complete a 2-0 sweep of the home team was the latest cause for changes in the statistic books.
Stephen Fleming's claim to being New Zealand's most successful Test captain is unchallenged. Not only has he surpassed Geoff Howarth's record of 11 Test wins, Fleming has done it in one less Test.
His job has been a little harder than Howarth's as he has also had to mould a team.
That hasn't always been easy for a player who is younger than many under his leadership and while attempting to look after his own batting. Now he has the record secured, and who knows where it will end, he has some batting problems to attend to.
But there was also credit in becoming the first team to beat Zimbabwe in a home clean sweep. Given the nature of some of the opposition Zimbabwe has faced in the past that is not a bad record. Even considering the loss of Murray Goodwin and Neil Johnson, the job still had to be done.
And Guy Whittall and Heath Streak ensured some moments of concern for the tourists. But again, the developing experience in the side was reflected in the patience exhibited in getting through to the third new ball of the second innings.
New Zealand's containing effort was the more memorable given Chris Cairns' injury, the absence of Daniel Vettori and the first serious bowling undertaken by Dion Nash on his road to recovery.
The only blot on the win had to be the incidents involving wicket-keeper Adam Parore and Nash with Whittall at various stages of his innings. These seemed to be the only Kiwi reactions of a negative nature reflecting the pressure the Kiwi were under.
Whittall especially tested the Kiwi bowlers and his innings must rank among the finest solitary innings in the quest to avoid defeat, if not in all Test history, then certainly in Zimbabwe's brief time on the world stage.
His penchant for attack is well known to the New Zealanders, who saw his double century on their last visit to Zimbabwe, while those who erred even slightly off line in this match were reminded of his ability.
Streak's was a fine captain's innings and if nothing else he has set the tone for Zimbabwe's climb off the bottom of the international rankings.
New Zealand, upon reflection, has been tradesmanlike in its approach to success on the tour. It laid the foundations in its two warm up games and then it built on them to take two wins.
Considering that most of the New Zealanders had the winter off and didn't take up playing duties in England or the Netherlands this year, it is an even more outstanding performance.
And, by virtue of their fighting recovery, the Zimbabweans have helped ensure the return contest in Wellington, starting on Boxing Day will be of more than passing interest.
For New Zealand now though, there is attention to one-day matters. This is the next area of the game demanding attention with New Zealand's success ratio lengthening too much on the loss side.
With the three-game series with Zimbabwe, a fourth game at the International Cricket Council Knockout tournament in Kenya and six one-dayers in South Africa, there is the chance to pay some serious attention to this aspect of the game.