New Zealand 275 for 3 (Guptill 109, Taylor 76*, Williamson 49) v Zimbabwe
New Zealand were 275-3 at stumps on the first day of the only cricket Test against Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday.
Martin Guptill went for 109 while Ross Taylor and BJ Watling will continue in the morning on 76 and 16 respectively.
Earlier, New Zealand went to tea on 179 for two. Guptill was on 74 and captain Taylor had 33 at the break. New Zealand made a confident start as they reached 98-1 at lunch.
Although they lost the aggressive Brendon McCullum for just 14, Guptill and Kane Williamson put on an unbroken stand of 58 to see the Black Caps establish their dominance after Taylor had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Zimbabwe’s fast bowlers Kyle Jarvis and Njabulo Ncube managed to swing the ball in the opening few overs, but on a hot, dry morning it wasn’t long before the batsmen were able to assert themselves on a placid batting pitch.
The only trouble New Zealand had in the opening hour was when McCullum tried to hook a lifting delivery from Jarvis and played onto his stumps.
Zimbabwe looked to stem the flow of runs in the second hour by bringing on their sturdy left-arm spinner Ray Price, but Williamson and Guptill grew in confidence and began to drive Price back over his head for regular boundaries.
Price spurned a tough chance in his final over before lunch, when Guptill’s strong drive went straight through the bowler’s hands on its way to the boundary. Zimbabwe handed out three new caps prior to play as Ncube, Malcolm Waller and Regis Chakabva made their test debuts.
Tatenda Taibu was included in the side as a specialist batsman despite not being named in the official 15-man squad on Monday, but all-rounder Elton Chigumbura was left out as his troublesome knee meant he would be unable to bowl.