New Zealand continued to stamp their authority on the first Test match against Zimbabwe, needing just five more wickets to wrap up victory.
It’s been a tough Test bow for Makhaya Ntini as head coach of the Southern Africans. The former Proteas paceman, with assistant coach Lance Klusener by his side, saw their charges struggle on day three in Bulawayo, and it’s difficult to see them surviving the whole of Sunday.
The Black Caps went into the day on 315-4, leading by 151 runs. Ross Taylor had 38 going into the morning session, but would proceed to work his way to a mammoth 173 not out. He put on a 353-run stand with BJ Watling, who scored his sixth Test century. When Watling fell for 107, they decided to call it on 576-6.
In what was supposed to be a game of survival for Zimbabwe, they decided to go on the attack, and it failed miserably as their top order was wiped out with the new ball. By the time Trent Boult had bowled two overs, he had three wickets. Tim Southee had Hamilton Masakadza (4) four balls in, before Boult saw off Chamu Chibhabha for seven, and then Brian Chari and Prince Masvaure in consecutive balls.
That didn’t deter Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza from going at it, as the pair struck eight boundaries in the space of four overs, putting on a 69-run stand in under nine overs. Former Northerns bowler Neil Wagner was the man to break the partnership as Raza departed for 37. Ervine went to 49 not out by stumps, with Zimbabwe on 121-5, trailing by a daunting 291 runs.
Photo: AFP/Jekesai Njikizana