Latham, Williamson keep NZ dominant in Zim

2016-07-29 18:07
Kane Williamson (Gallo Images)

Bulawayo - Opener Tom Latham followed in his father's footsteps as he ground out a century on day two of the first Test against Zimbabwe to give New Zealand a commanding first-innings lead at Queens Sports Club on Friday.

Almost 24 years after his father, Rod, scored 119 in New Zealand's first ever Test in Bulawayo, Latham made 105 as the Black Caps moved to 315 for four in response to Zimbabwe's 164 all out.

"I only realised it when I came off," said Latham. "It is pretty nice for us to have both scored hundreds here."

The left-hander shared a 156-run stand for the second wicket with captain Kane Williamson, who made 91, to continue New Zealand's dominance of the game following Neil Wagner's six-wicket haul on day one.

For their part Zimbabwe did an admirable job with the ball and often restricted the New Zealand scoring, but on a placid pitch the hosts struggled to make regular breakthroughs.

While Martin Guptill fell in the morning session when he reached for a delivery from Chamu Chibhabha and edged low to gully to depart for 40, the hosts did not taste success again until 20 minutes after tea as Latham and Williamson showed ample patience on a slow surface.

"There wasn't a huge amount of pace on the ball and they managed to get it to reverse quite early on," said Latham.

"It was nice to soak up that early pressure, get through the tough parts and build a couple of big partnerships."

Legspinner Graeme Cremer proved the toughest opponent for the pair, as he found sharp turn and bounce and occasionally beat the edge.

Cremer thought he had Williamson caught at slip on 72, only for the third umpire to determine that the edge had fallen just short of the fielder.

However there was reward for Zimbabwe in the next over when Latham chased a wide delivery from Hamilton Masakadza and was caught behind, and Cremer eventually got his man when a Williamson edge carried to Masakadza at slip.

Zimbabwe took the second new ball with six overs remaining in the day, and Donald Tiripano used it to have Henry Nicholls caught behind for 15.

Ross Taylor went to stumps on 38 not out, and will return to the crease with nightwatchman Ish Sodhi on Saturday morning.

"I thought the guys fought hard," said Cremer. "They didn't run away with the game, and we kept them in check.

"We're still upset we didn't score enough runs but that's gone now. We're going to try and drag the game out for as long as possible."

Read more on:    new zealand  |  zimbabwe  |  kane williamson  |  cricket


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