Napier - An unbeaten century from skipper
Ross Taylor put New Zealand in a commanding position at five for 331 on
the first day of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in Napier on
Taylor finished the day on 111 not out after his team
lost the toss and were sent into bat on a green-tinged wicket expected
to favour the bowlers.
However fears of demons in the pitch proved
unfounded and, while the hard-working tourists worried the Black Caps
at times, they failed to maintain consistent pressure against a dogged
New Zealand batting line up.
Openers Brendon McCullum and Martin
Guptill both scored half centuries in a 124-run opening stand, while
former skipper Daniel Vettori joined the party with a rapid-fire 38 off
The opening pair dominated the first session, seeing off
the new ball and frustrating Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor's hopes of
an early breakthrough in his side's first away Test since 2005.
Zealand, riding high after a rare win over Australia last month, kept
the scoreboard ticking over with boundaries but the batsmen heeded coach
John Wright's advice not to throw away their wickets with rash shots.
debutant Shingi Masakadza finally broke the partnership when Guptill's
attacking instincts got the better of him on 51 as he edged a rising
ball to wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu.
Guptill's replacement Kane
Williamson was sent back to the pavilion three overs later after a mix
up with McCullum saw him run out for four.
scampered down the wicket after driving spinner Graeme Cremer to the
covers while McCullum, seeing he was not going to make the single,
retreated back to the non-striker's end to leave his partner stranded.
With New Zealand looking slightly wobbly, it fell to captain Ross Taylor to steady the ship.
He and McCullum put on 64 runs before the opener was trapped lbw by Kyle Jarvis just after tea.
should have had a second wicket in the same over when he enticed Dean
Browlie into a careless prod, only for the catch to be dropped in the
The miss did not prove costly as Hamilton Masakadza --
Shingi's older brother -- forced an edge from Browlie in the next over
which was snaffled up by Taibu to have him walking for a duck.
promoted to number six to add steel to the middle order, chimed in with
a free-scoring 38 before falling to an inspired piece of wicketkeeping
He charged down the wicket attempting to meet a Cremer
delivery, which skidded past his bat to the waiting Taibu, who whipped
off the bails before Vettori had a chance to return to the crease.
the setback, Taylor produced a captain's knock, smashing a boundary off
Brian Vitori to bring up a sixth Test century that included 12 fours
and two sixes.
Along with wicketkeeper B.J. Watling, who ended the
day on 15, he will be looking to build an imposing total before
unleashing an attack that includes four seamers.
have only ever been two results in the nine Tests at Napier and Taylor
will be mindful that Zimbabwe pushed New Zealand hard in their last
match at Bulawayo in November.Teams:
New Zealand: BB McCullum, MJ Guptill, KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor (captain), DG Brownlie, DL Vettori, BJ Watling (wk), DAJ Bracewell, TG Southee, TA Boult, CS Martin
Zimbabwe: TMK Mawoyo, H Masakadza, F Mutizwa, BRM Taylor (captain), T Taibu (wk), MN Waller, RW Chakabva, AG Cremer, SW Masakadza, BV Vitori, KM Jarvis