New Zealand complete inevitable innings victory despite Williams century
New Zealand 576-6 dec (Taylor 173no) beat
Zimbabwe 164 & 121-5 (Ervine 49no) by an innings and 117 runs
First Test, day three, Bulawayo
Sean Williams along with a determined Graeme Cremer made New Zealand sweat hard on the fourth day with a 118-run stand but the Black Caps bounced back well in the second session to bowl out Zimbabwe for 295 and claim an innings victory in the first Test in Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe started the day with the overnight score of 121 for five, still trailing New Zealand by 291 runs. Craig Ervine (50) reached his half-century in the second ball of the day but was caught behind in the next over bowled by Trent Boult (4-52).
Williams (119) came to bat at eight despite illness and looked positive on the outset smashing Tim Southee (2-68) for a couple of boundaries in the 24th over and followed with two more in the 26th.
Cremer (33) looked solid at the other end as the New Zealand bowlers were targeting him with sharp bouncers. The pair brought the 50-run stand in 100 deliveries and looked in comfort with not much happening on the pitch.
Williams reached his maiden Test fifty in the 44th over and with two more boundaries in the 46th over, he took Zimbabwe past the 200-run mark. By the end of the first session, Zimbabwe reached 221 for six adding 100 runs to their overnight score.
The 118-run stand between Williams and Cremer ended when the latter was trapped LBW by Ish Sodhi (1-66) in the 56th over.
Two overs later, Williams went on to complete his century off 106 deliveries which is the fastest century by a Zimbabwe batsman in Tests. Regis Chakabva (11) and Williams added 35 runs for the eighth wicket. However, their hopes were dashed when Chakabva was castled by Southee in the 69th over.
It took New Zealand eight more overs to dismiss Williams and Donald Tiripano (14) to bowl New Zealand for 295 runs thereby winning the first Test by an innings and 117 runs. Ross Taylor was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant unbeaten century in the first innings.
© Cricket World 2016