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Second Test: New Zealand v Zimbabwe

Reports from the Electronic Telegraph

26 Feb - 2 Mar 1998

Day 1: Zimbabwe falter

By Don Cameron

ZIMBABWE started the first Test against New Zealand at Wellington last week out of step - winning the toss, batting first in difficult conditions and losing by 10 wickets. The second Test in Auckland yesterday threatened to become an action replay.

Their captain, Alistair Campbell, won the toss at Eden Park and unwisely chose to bat first on a pitch that was grassy, moist and certain to have some mischief in it.

The New Zealand selectors had spent three days deciding to bring Mark Priest, a left-arm spinner, into the side to partner Daniel Vettori.

So Zimbabwe must have been baffled when New Zealand destroyed them with brilliant swing and seam new-ball bowling by Simon Doull, who finished with four wickets for 35 in 20 overs. Chris Cairns took the last three wickets from 14 balls at no cost as Zimbabwe fell for 170.

Day 2: Horne and Astle flay Zimbabwe

Bye Don Cameron

A BOUNDARY-studded fourth-wicket partnership of 243 by Matthew Horne (157) and Nathan Astle (114) put New Zealand in charge of the second Test against Zimbabwe at Eden Park yesterday. At stumps on the second day New Zealand were 441 for nine, 271 runs ahead.

Outplayed and out- schemed, Zimbabwe fell frequently into error. Astle was twice dropped, at 68 and 109, and Horne was put down at 108 and 144, the second a simple chance to deep square leg.

Late in the day Craig McMillan picked up 77 not out from 72 balls, hitting nine fours and three sixes.

Heath Streak, the only attacking new-ball bowler Zimbabwe possess, toiled hard and in the last session the tourists fought back to take six wickets.

Leg spinners Paul Strang and Adam Huckle seemed to be handled badly by their captain, Alistair Campbell.

They were forced to bowl defensively, around the wicket to the right-handers, aiming for the rough outside the batsmen's leg stump. This merely enabled both century-makers, unlikely to be bowled or lbw, to concentrate on strong leg-side shots.

Day 3: Doull's deadly finish

By Matthew Hannah

NEW Zealand's Simon Doull, with his second four-wicket haul of the match here yesterday, wrapped up the second Test against Zimbabwe in the final over of the third day by an innings and 13 runs. The result - New Zealand's fourth successive home win - enabled them to clinch the two-match series 2-0.

Doull, who claimed the first four wickets in Zimbabwe's first innings took the final two in the last over after New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming had asked for an extra half-hour's play.

Adam Huckle was bowled with a yorker on the third ball of the last over and with his next ball Doull had Mpumelelo Mbangwa snapped up at first slip by Fleming.

Zimbabwe, trailing by 290 runs on the first innings, looked likely to take the game into the fourth day when wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower was batting stylishly in the afternoon.

He came in with Zimbabwe on 71 for three, but on the same score his younger brother Grant edged Dion Nash low to Bryan Young at second slip.

Flower watched Guy Whittall and Heath Streak fall to debatable lbw decisions, but he and Paul Strang added 71 runs in 61 minutes for the seventh wicket. Flower was poised for his fifth Test century when, on 83, he flashed at a ball from Chris Cairns and the faint edge carried through to wicketkeeper Adam Parore. Resuming on 77, he took eight runs from the first two balls he faced and then progressed to 88 before becoming leg-spinner Strang's fourth victim to end the innings at 460.

Day 3: New Zealand ease to fourth in row

By Nelson Clare in Auckland

NEW ZEALAND recorded their fourth successive Test win on home soil when they beat Zimbabwe by an innings and 13 runs late on the third day in Auckland on Saturday.

After beating Sri Lanka twice last season New Zealand completed back-to-back wins over Zimbabwe when Simon Doull took the final two wickets in the last over of the day at Eden Park.

At the scheduled stumps time Zimbabwe had been 238 for eight, but New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming claimed the extra half-hour.

Paul Strang and Adam Huckle almost took the game into the fourth day, but Doull got his reward when he bowled Huckle with a yorker on the third ball of the last over and next ball had Mpumelelo Mbangwa held at first slip.

Doull finished with four for 50 to give him eight wickets for the match as Zimbabwe were dismissed for 277. Strang, Nottinghamshire's overseas player this summer, finished 67 not out.

Andy Flower was poised for his fifth Test century when he was undone by the second new ball, snicking Chris Cairns for 83.

Llorne Howell, a dashing opening batsman, has replaced Bryan Young in New Zealand's team for the one-day series, starting in Wellington on Wednesday.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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Date-stamped : 02 Mar1998 - 15:19