Taylor’s century propels New Zealand past 300 on day one
A splendid century from Ross Taylor and breezy 83 from Brendon McCullum ensured that New Zealand find themselves in a comfortable position at the close of the first day of the one-off Test between New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe captain, Brendan Taylor won the toss and elected to bowl first. Zimbabwe squad includes two debutants, Forster Mutizwa, a middle-order batsman, and Shingi Masakadza, who is a fast bowler and the brother of the Hamilton Maskadza.
McCullum didn’t pull punches and was severe on anything pitched-up or short right from the word go. He creamed Brian Vitori for four through extra-cover, and hammered Kyle Jarvis for a couple of boundaries in the next over. Jarvis bounced back, and got the last ball to jag back into the right-hander and appealed for lbw. After the appeal was turned down, they for the Review but the replay showed the height was an issue and McCullum survived.
After a sedate start, Martin Guptill got into the act and smacked a couple of boundaries off Shingi Maskadza as New Zealand raced to 89 runs in 23 overs. New Zealand went to lunch at 98 for no loss.
In the first over after lunch, McCullum brought up his half-century with by smashing a couple of boundaries off Maskadza and swished him for the maximum in his next over. This is the first hundred-run partnership for the first wicket for New Zealand in more than a year. Guptill reached his half-century courtesy a boundary off Maskadza. Maskadza soon got his revenge and picked up his first Test wicket as Guptill was vaught by the wicket-keepet Tatenda Taibu.
Kane Williamson was run-out in no time. He pushed the ball to the covers and set-off for a single but McCullum refused to move and Williamson was run-out for four runs. The fall of wickets didn’t deter McCullum from going for his shots as he walloped Vitori for a six, his second six of the innings.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor played cautiously for first few minutes to ensure New Zealand don’t lose any other wicket and after settling in started to play his shots. He cut Makadza past point for his first bondary and after few over cracked Graeme Cremer for consecutive boundaries.
Barring a few fleeting moments, Zimbabwe’s bowling was largely uninspiring and bowlers didn’t look like getting wickets. At tea, New Zealand were 194-2. After tea, Jarvis struck and sent McCullum back to the pavilion for 83. McCullum played across the line of the ball which came in and struck him on the pads. The wicket infused the pep into the Zimbabwe side and they were soon rewarded for their new-found zeal. Dean Brownlie played an appalling shot, poking at the ball outside the off-stump without moving his feet at all. He copped a duck and Zimbabwe orchestrated a comeback.
Former New Zealand captain, Daniel Vettori looked positive from the first ball he played and didn’t bat an eyelid before dispatching the loose balls to the boundary. He hammered his namesake Vitori for three boundaries in two overs and clouted Shingi Maskadza for three boundaries in an over as he stormed to 35 runs in 28 balls by dint of seven stinging boundaries.
Taking a cue from Vettori, Taylor launced a thunderous assualt on Cremmer and flayed two sixes and a boundary in his one over. Cremmer nipped the dangerous looking Vettori out by a wrong one. Vettori didn’t pick, was lulled ito coming out of the crease and Taibu did the neat work with gloves.
Taylor notched up his sixth Test century, his first as a captain, by a four off Vitori. The wicket-keeper, Bradley-John Watling provided able support to Taylor and New Zealand reached 331-5 at the close of the first day of the Napier Test. Taylor and Watling are batting on 111 and 15 respectively.
New Zealand 331 for 5 (Taylor 111*, McCullum 83; H Maskadza 33-1) v ZimbabweTags: Brendan Taylor . Brendon McCullum . Brian Vitori . Daniel Vettori . Napier . New Zealand . NZ vs Zim . Ross Taylor . Shingi Maskadza . Zimbabwe
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