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Taylor Holds Up South African Charge

Brendan Taylor plays a short ball
Brendan Taylor stood firm to make 93 on the opening day in Harare
©REUTERS / Action Images

Zimbabwe 248-9 (Taylor 93, Steyn 4-45) v
South Africa
Only Test, Harare, day one

Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor struck 93 to help his side reach stumps on the first day of their only Test against South Africa in Harare on 248 for nine.

The tourists handed off-spinner Dane Piedt a debut and he returned figures of four for 90 as South Africa almost dismissed their hosts with Dale Steyn also taking four wickets.

However, Taylor's 93 in 159 balls and Hamilton Masakadza's 45 in 93 balls held them up and ensured Zimbabwe will bat on when day two gets underway.

Recalling Mark Vermeulen for his first Test since 2004, Zimbabwe batted first and the 35-year-old was soon at the crease when Vusi Sibanda (0) was caught by Alviro Petersen off Steyn.

Vermeulen hit 14 in 36 balls before he became Piedt's first victim, with his very first ball in Test cricket, when he was trapped in front.

Zimbabwe reached lunch on 64 for two with Masakadza and Taylor reviving the innings during a 57-run stand for the third wicket.

Piedt struck again after lunch with two wickets in one over, first bowling Masakadza with a sharp turning delivery and then having Regis Chakabva caught by Hashim Amla at short mid-wicket for nought.

Sean Williams added another 30 runs with Taylor but fell before tea, taken on 165 for five, when he edged Steyn to wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock.

Taylor then added 59 with Richmond Mutumbani (21) and 12 runs from Tinashe Panyangara took Zimbabwe past the 200-run mark until they fell to Steyn and Vernon Philander respectively.

Just seven runs short of what would have been a deserved century, Taylor went down on one knee and slog-swept Piedt into the hands of JP Duminy in the deep.

However, thanks to Tendai Chatara hitting 23 in 26 balls before falling to Steyn, and an unbeaten nine from Donald Tiripano, Zimbabwe managed to see out the remainder of the day.

Steyn finished with figures of four for 45 and Philander one for 44.

© Cricket World 2014