it's all over!!! Vettori has trapped Mpofu in front. A full ball drifts in and Mpofu gets forward but it hits him in front of off and was going to hit the stumps
On that note, I shall sign off for the evening. But you can relive all the drama of today by reading Nitin Sundar's report.
Well, this has been an outstanding day of Test cricket. And they say close finishes only happen in Twenty20 nowadays. It's been great fun bringing it to you and I have learned the following from all the comments:
1. Don't even jokingly compare anyone to Tendulkar
2. The debate on whether players should take the fielder's word for catches held close to the ground will go on for eternity
3. I need to brush up on my Phantom facts before I cover another New Zealand Test
4. Zimbabwe have garnered support from fans from all over with their romantic return to Test cricket
Adee: "This is third smallest victory in terms of runs by New Zealand.
They beat WI by 27 runs in 2006, then Pakistan by 32 runs in 2009 and today beat Zim by 34 runs."
Mark Kidger: "Just got home from shopping. Yesteday I said that I thought 320 would be enough: OK, not quite on the button, but pretty close. Kudos to Zimbabwe who have improved so much since withdrawing from Test cricket."
Chris: "What a test match! Gutted for Zimbabwe, but all credit to the Kiwis who could have thrown their toys after the Taylor decision, but kept their nerve and even showed great sportsmanship on the run out. Shame it isn't a 3 match series."
Daniel Vettori is the Man of the Match for his contributions with the bat in both innings and eight wickets in the Test.
Vettori: "Luckily the ball kept low in the final session but we bowled really well, especially Doug Bracewell. I though Brendan Taylor's innings was class and it was only once we got him out that we believed we can win. There's always expectations of me because I've been around so long and I was glad I could produce today."
Ross Taylor: "It was a hell of a Test match. We were in a position where we could either go for it or hold back. Full credit to Zimbabwe for putting us under pressure. I think I got a bit of luck with the bowling changes. This was my first Test as captain and I don't think there would have been many harder introductions to Test captaincy. I think my declaration was right."
Brendan Taylor has been sublime over the past few months. BT: "Our plan in the final session was to bat out an hour and see if we were in a position to push on but we lost wickets early in the session. There were some nerves there and it was positive that we went for the win rather than shut up shop. The guys can hold their heads high. There has been huge improvement over the past three months. It's nice to be back into the Test fold and I look forward to some successful time ahead."
Dean: "Why only one Test match? So pointless". Another reason why preparing an FTP for the next ten years is questionable. After this performance Zimbabwe deserves longer series.
Samroy: "Test Match of the Year... till now. Well played both teams... it doesn't take good teams to produce great matches.. even average teams can produce thrillers.. if they play with the will to win." Hard to argue with that. India in South Africa was pretty competitive but my aching fingers say there was more action in this Test than any other
Khip: "I blame the coaches, Zimbabwe should not have lost this match, a draw would have been the least they should have played for. Why was the tail NOT protected when what was required to win was less than a run a ball."
A fair point, but if you're talking about tactics you have to say it was refreshing to see Zimbabwe go for it the way they did. Though, perhaps once Chakabva was out Waller could have shielded the tail
Bracewell: "It was a great comeback. We stuck at it after two hard sessions. At tea, Rosco just said we need to slow the run-scoring down and attack the new batsmen. It was a really tough wicket to bowl on so it makes the five-for even more speical. We'll be having a few cold ones tonight"
Doug Bracewell has six wickets on debut, 5 for 85 in the second innings and he had to really work for that five-for on a flat wicket.
Romantics would have wanted underdogs Zimbabwe to win this, especially after a tremendous century from BT. But it's an important win for New Zealand, their first away since 2008.
New Zealand need to be commended on their perseverance. They had a huge disappointment before tea when BT was give not out because camera angles couldn't determine if a catch was taken cleanly, but came back in the last session
This is heartbreaking for Zimbabwe. They were in with a chance to win at one stage but have ended up losing. A great Test though
that's edged but it falls short of slip. Bracewell draws a genuine edge with a full ball and Jarvis just hangs the bat it
The slip-cordon is full now expecting the edge
full outside off and Jarvis hangs the bat at it and makes contact
angled in and it's defended nicely by Jarvis
That's short again and outside off. Bracewell still running in hard
I suppose the only saving grace for Zimbabwe now is that Phantom is not their No. 11. Mpofu's not much better though
bouncer and it goes well over Jarvis' head
angled in and Jarvis does well to work it away to the leg side for a couple
angled in and he gets the bat down late but manages to defend
Four close-in fielders
pitched on off and Mpofu defends watchfully
gets well forward and shows decent technique defending that
angled down leg side and Mpofu leaves it
full on middle and Mpofu prods at it
Mpofu comes in. Surely this is New Zealand's game now
and that could be it! Vettori has trapped Waller in front. Angled in from outside off and just straightened. Waller had got a huge stride in and it hit him on middle. The ball wasn't turning much and it could have drifted down leg but the umpire has decided it's straightening enough. Big decision
Vettori's taking his time setting the field and goes around the wicket
That last wicket gave Bracewell a five-for on debut
Surely Waller will try to keep strike this over. Eight more for Zimbabwe to survive. Thirty seven to get.
full on off stump and Jarvis gets bat to ball
Aakash: "Why is Waller picking singles so early in the over i don't understand. If they have to win or even draw it he has to face most of the deliveries!" Waller didn't shield the tail too well in the first innings either
and he's edged that. Oh no, it's getting really serious for Zimbabwe now. That was angled in and just straightened a bit from outside off. Price didn't move his feet and just hung the bat out at it and got a thin edge
short of a length and defended off the back foot. Got in line well
Zimbabwe can still do this in singles. Surely New Zealand need to bring in more fielders
wide outside off and Waller gets another single by running it down to third man
angled into the pads and it goes off the pads to square leg and gets off strike
full on off stump and he's taken the single to long-off. So Prices will have to see out five balls
short on off stump and Price survives it. Prods it down on the off side
|Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo|
|Toss||New Zealand, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match number||Test no. 2013|
|Hours of play (local time)||10am start, Lunch 12.00-12.40, Tea 14.40-15.00, Close 17.00|
|Match days||1,2,3,4,5 November 2011 - day (5-day match)|