Mpofu's late strikes help Zimbabwe restrict New Zealand

Christopher Mpofu celebrates after dismissing New Zealand batsman Daniel Vettori on the second day


Bulawayo: Nov 2, 2011

Chris Mpofu’s career-best figures of four for 92 helped Zimbabwe dismiss New Zealand for 426 on the stroke of tea on day two of their one-off Test on Wednesday.

Mpofu’s stamina had already seen him bowl several lengthy spells, but none were as effective as the six-over stint he produced to rattle through the lower order as New Zealand lost their last five wickets for 25 runs.

Left-arm spinner Ray Price picked up the first and last wickets of that sequence, with Mpofu removing the three batsmen in between.

Dean Brownlie’s half-century on his debut seemed to have set New Zealand up for a declaration as he lifted the scoring rate with Daniel Vettori after lunch.

A disciplined bowling performance from Zimbabwe had seen them pick up two wickets and restrict the New Zealand scoring on the second morning, but Vettori took just two deliveries after the break to find the boundary.

The pair added 74 runs in 14 overs as they took the attack to Zimbabwe, until Brownlie paid the price for over-aggression as a swipe across the line at a Price delivery resulted in an edge to slip, ending his innings on 63.

Meanwhile Vettori raced to 40 from just 58 deliveries as he took a particular liking to Price, but was caught at slip off the bowling of Mpofu to spark a late collapse.

Morning rain had meant that play was delayed by 45 minutes at the start of the day by a wet outfield, but with lunch pushed back by half an hour only 15 minutes were lost from the opening session.

With conditions freshened up by the rain, and a relatively new second ball still in hand, Njabulo Ncube picked up his first Test wicket in his first over of the day as he snatched the big scalp of Ross Taylor.

The New Zealand captain failed to add to his overnight score of 76 before he chased a wide delivery and edged through to the wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva.

Mpofu picked up the other wicket of the session, surprising BJ Watling with a lifting delivery that caught the edge on its way to Chakabva, who took a good one-handed catch low to his right.

The majority of the morning saw Zimbabwe set defensive fields and bowl strict lines, which allowed the Black Caps to add just 52 runs over the course of 27 overs.

Martin Guptill’s second Test century formed the backbone of the New Zealand innings on the first day, when his 109 allowed the tourists to reach 275 for three at stumps on Tuesday evening. (AFP)

Brief Scores: New Zealand 426 (Martin Guptill 109, Ross Taylor 76, Dean Brownlie 63; Chris Mpofu 4 for 92) vs Zimbabwe.

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