Bulawayo: Nov 1, 2011
Martin Guptill's seventh Test fifty in his 16th match put New Zealand on course for a big total in the first innings of their one-off Test against Zimbabwe here Tuesday.
Guptill went to tea on 74 not out, while skipper Ross Taylor was unbeaten on 33, as New Zealand reached 179 for two after winning the toss and electing to bat first.
Zimbabwe's bowlers were able to contain the New Zealand batsmen well in the second session as they resorted to more defensive tactics on a flat pitch at Queens Sports Club.
The home side struggled to create wicket-taking opportunities but enjoyed a stroke of fortune when Kane Williamson was run out in somewhat bizarre fashion just short of his half-century.
Williamson came down the wicket to left-arm spinner Ray Price before pushing the ball back to the bowler, who threw the ball to the wicketkeeper. The batsman would have made his ground had he slid his bat, but instead his stride fell short of the crease and he was run out with his toe on the line.
The only chance that Guptill offered in the opening two sessions was in Price's final over before the luncheon interval when he drove the ball strongly to the bowler, who allowed it to fly through his hands and away to the boundary.
Guptill was particularly strong down the ground, taking a number of singles off the slow bowlers, but also drove handsomely for three boundaries through cover.
The 25-year-old went to his half-century in 117 deliveries, and soon after collected his 1000th run in Test cricket.
Brendon McCullum was the only batsman to be dismissed in the first session, when he attempted to hook a delivery from Kyle Jarvis and played onto his stumps.
A total of five new caps were handed out prior to play, as Njabulo Ncube, Malcolm Waller and Regis Chakabva made their debuts for Zimbabwe, and Dean Brownlie and Doug Bracewell were included in New Zealand's Test side for the first time. (AFP)
Brief Scores: New Zealand 179 for 2 (Martin Guptill 74*, Kane Williamson 49, Ross Taylor 33*; Kyle Jarvis 1 for 41) vs Zimbabwe.