Bracewell, Vettori bowl BLACKCAPS to victory

Debutant Doug Bracewell and Daniel Vettori have bowled the BLACKCAPS to a stunning 34 run victory over Zimbabwe in the one-off Test in Bulawayo.

The BLACKCAPS had to overcome a determined Zimbabwe captain with Brendon Taylor carrying his team to 265 for three at tea in pursuit of 366 for victory.  The second new ball along with intense pressure from the New Zealand bowling attack saw the home side crumble to be all out with just six overs to spare.

Bracewell led the attack with five for 85 including three wickets in the final session to help the BLACKCAPS secure the win.  His other two wickets came late on day four.

Man of the match Daniel Vettori, who took five wickets in the first innings, toiled with purpose on the flat track and came into his own late in the day to help rip through the middle and lower order, finishing with three for 74.

Chris Martin picked up the one wicket but it was the prize scalp of Taylor for 117 and proved to be the turning point in the match.  Taylor, who had been impeccable with his shot selection all day, had his first lapse in concentration when he chased a wide delivery and was caught by BJ Watling at cover.

Tatenda Taibu who had been the perfect foil for Taylor, helping put on a 108 for the fourth wicket and batted the entire middles session, was Vettori's first victim after tea, caught at mid-wicket for 63.

Part timer off-spinner Martin Guptill was the other bowler to register a wicket, bowling out opener Tino Mawoyo for 52 in the first session.

Speaking to the broadcaster after the match BLACKCAPS Ross Taylor said: "It's always tough to play an international side in their country, that wicket was hard for the bowlers.”

"You have to give credit to Brendan (Taylor), he had an outstanding series and led from the front. To score a hundred and end up on the losing side is disappointing but going forward, Zimbabwe cricket's fortunes will change."

"To get that wicket of Taylor after tea was a victory for us, and obviously the way Dan (Vettori) and Bracewell bowled won us the game."

"It was a great Test match and I have only played 31.”

The BLACKCAPS reached 426 in their first innings with Ross Taylor making an aggressive declaration at 252 for eight in the second innings, leaving Zimbabwe a just under four sessions to get 366 at roughly three runs per over.  Zimbabwe made 313 in their first turn with the bat.

The 34 runs winning margin ranks as third lowest for New Zealand in Test cricket.

The BLACKCAPS won the Twenty20 International series two-nil and the One-Day International series two-one.

Day 4: Bracewell, Vettori bowl BLACKCAPS to victory

Two late wickets from debutant Doug Bracewell ensured the BLACKCAPS are in a strong position to push for victory in the Test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

The BLACKCAPS declared after reaching 252 for eight shortly after tea on day four, giving them a lead of 366 and allowing them at least 114 overs to bowl out Zimbabwe.

Bracewell steamed in for the final session and was rewarded with the wicket of Visu Sibanda early before removing Hamilton Masakadza off the final ball of the day to have Zimbabwe reeling at 61 for two.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor steered the BLACKCAPS to a healthy lead, with a 119 run partnership for the fourth wicket after night-watchman Jeetan Patel went early.

Tall fast bowler Kyle Jarvis broke the partnership when he removed Williamson for 68 with BJ Watling making just three before being trapped LBW by spinner Ray Price.

Jarvis then had Taylor leg-before after he struck a superb 76, the same score he achieved in the first innings, with the strike bowlers dismantling Dean Brownlie’s stumps to complete a five wicket bag.

It is the first five wicket haul by a Zimbabwean bowler since their return to Test cricket with Jarvis delivering 18 overs and conceding 68 runs.

The innings was capped by useful contributions from Daniel Vettori who hit 31 and a rapid 35 not out off 37 balls from wicketkeeper Reece Young.

Tino Mawoyo will resume tomorrow on 27 along with new batsmen Brendan Taylor.

Day 3: Vettori claims five, BLACKCAPS lead by 141

Daniel Vettori claimed five wickets to give the BLACKCAPS the upper hand at the end of day three in the one-off Test match against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

Starting the day on 82 for two, Zimbabwe took their total through to 313, handing the BLACKCAPS a first innings lead of 113 runs. 

The BLACKCAPS lost Martin Guptill without scoring and Brendon McCullum for 11 to end the day on 28 for two – 141 runs ahead.

The bowling attack took wickets at key times to keep Zimbabwe pegged back with Vusi Sibanda (93) dismissed by part timer Dean Brownlie and captain Brendan Taylor trapped LBW by Vettori after making a positive half-century.

The loss of Taylor for 50 just after lunch signalled a need for stability but Tatenda Taibu was unable to fill that role, hitting Vettori to mid-off when on 20.

Debutants Malcolm Waller and Regis Chakabva formed a handy partnership of 86 with before Chakabkva was run-out for 37 exposing the tail that put up little resistance, with the last four wickets falling for 29 runs.

Waller was left stranded on 72 not out.

Vettori lead the way with five for 70 – his 20th five wicket haul in Test Cricket.  Fellow senior bowler Chris Martin chipped in with two for 74 and in the process claimed his 200th and 201st Test scalp.

Doug Bracewell, playing in his first match, picked up one for 51 and helped complete the run-out of Chakabkva.

Kane Williamson (13) and night watchman Jeetan Patel (4) will resume tomorrow.

Day 3: BLACKCAPS lead by 344, Zimbabwe 82-1

A late fight-back from Zimbabwe saw them pick up the last five BLACKCAPS wickets for just 25 before making a solid start with the bat on day two of the Test match in Bulawayo.

The BLACKAPS took their overnight score of 275 for three through to 426 with today’s main contribution made by debutant Dean Brownlie who struck 63.

Brownlie was at the crease early with captain Ross Taylor unable to add to his overnight score of 76, edging a wide delivery to the keeper.  Watling went before lunch for 39 bringing Daniel Vettori to the crease.

The scoring rate was increased with 81 added for the sixth wicket before Brownlie edged to slip while Vettori, who made 40 off 58, was also caught at slip sparking a collapse that saw Zimbabwe wrap up the innings on the stroke of tea.

Chris Mpofu was rewarded for putting in the hard yards, bowling long spells in hot conditions, to record career-best figures of four for 92.  Veteran spinner Ray Price took two for 118.

Vettori picked up the wicket of Tino Mawoya with the opener scoring a painfully slow five off 43 deliveries.

Sibanda (53*) and Masakadza (22) Will resume tomorrow on 82 for one – 344 runs behind the BLACKCAPS first innings score.

Day 1: Guptill hits ton, BLACKCAPS 275-3

Martin Guptill hit his second Test century to put the BLACKCAPS in control on day one against Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Guptill took advantage of favourable batting conditions to hit 109 while captain Ross Taylor remains on 76 not out at stumps with the team total on 275 for three.

It wasn’t a day full of big shots or high drama with the BLACKCAPS going about their job in a workmanlike fashion.

Two of the best shots of the day came from Guptill who launched a thundering six of spinner Ray Price to reach 99 and two balls later carved a loose ball through mid-wicket to reach triple figures.

Speaking to the broadcaster after the match Guptill said: ” There was a little bit of swing in the first few overs and then it went away and it was pretty straight up and down, but they bowled well and set straight fields which made it difficult to score runs.

"They were very disciplined so the way that Ross Taylor and I batted, I think we did quite well.

“Any time you score a hundred is good.  It was quite difficult out there today so I was very pleased to come away with that one.”

Guptill, who put on 132 with Taylor for the third wicket, was out when he pulled a short ball from part-time bowler Hamilton Masakadza straight to mid-wicket with less than ten overs to go in the day.

Zimbabwe completed one wicket per session with Kane Williamson run-out after lunch for 49 while opener Brendon McCullum, 14, played a Kyle Jarvis delivery onto the stumps earlier in the day.

The home side weren’t helped by some sloppy fielding that saw Taylor and BJ Watling put down in towards the end of the day.

Watling (16*) and Taylor will resume tomorrow.

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