New Zealand Hold Off Brave Zimbabwe For 34-Run Win
New Zealand 426 (Guptill 109) & 252-8 dec. beat
Zimbabwe 313 & 331 (Taylor 117) by 34 runs
Only Test, Bulawayo
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New Zealand survived an impressive Zimbabwe counter-attack to take victory in the one-off Test in Bulawayo by just 34 runs having been pushed all the way by their hosts.
Eventually, despite Brendan Taylor's knock of 117, a target of 366 proved beyond Zimbabwe as Doug Bracewell took five wickets and Daniel Vettori three.
Starting the day on 61 for two, TInotenda Mawoyo (52) and Taylor forged a partnership of 96 for the third wicket and it took the unlikely weapon of Martin Guptill's slow bowling to break through when Mawoyo, who faced 154 deliveries, was bowled.
Taylor then came together with fellow senior batsmen Tatenda Taibu and they advanced the score to 265, Taylor reaching his second Test century before he was caught by BJ Watling off Chris Martin having faced 147 balls, hitting eight fours and five sixes as he took the attack to the Black Caps.
Taibu was more circumspect, hitting 63 in 163 balls but his dismissal soon after brought New Zealand back into the game and once he had been caught by Guptill off Vettori, the remaining five wickets went down for the addition of just 44 runs.
Regis Chakabva (5), Njabulo Ncube (14) and Ray Price (4) were removed by Bracewell as he picked up his five-wicket haul and the innings was finished off by Vettori, who trapped Malcolm Waller and Chris Mpofu in front for 29 and nought respectively.
New Zealand were always ahead in the contest after Martin Guptill's century on the opening day was followed by Vettori's five-wicket haul in the second innings.
Although Kyle Jarvis grabbed five wickets in New Zealand's second innings, their declaration was well judged.
© Cricket World 2011