Graeme Creamer, the Zimbabwe captain had won the toss and elected to bat first with a rookie side under him when compared to the kiwi side led by Williamson.
The first over itself had decided how the innings would’ve shaped furthermore as Zimbabwe lost its first wicket to Southee on his second delivery. Zimbabwe had survived the opening spell by the pacers but that soon ended in the 16th over when Wagner claimed his first as Latham clinged onto a simple catch at Mid-wicket. Within the next 6 balls, they witnessed another batsmen walking back to the pavilion as Masakadza chipped the flighted delivery back to Santner. Wagner went merciless on the inexperienced Zimbabwe side as he piled up a total of 6 wickets in his kitty while Santner and southee bagged a couple each. There was some resistance shown by Masvaure & Tiripano as they could compile 85 runs. But soon Tiripano ran out of partners and was stranded on an unbeaten 49. The hosts managed to put up a meagre score of 164.
The kiwis were a complete mismatch for the Zimbabwe team as they went onto score a mammoth total of 576 for a loss of 6. The first wicket came in the form of Guptil as he edged it to gully where Ervine took a neat catch. But that loss didn’t hinder the momentum as Williamson and Latham put on 156 runs together. Latham then got out after scoring a brilliant century as he got a faint edge and was caught behind. Williamson who was batting patiently got out after 13 overs later. He could’ve completed another century against a test playing nation but that has to wait as he edged it past first slip. Ross Taylor showed the Zimbabwe side that he isn’t going back without scoring a heapload of runs. He went on to score another swashbuckling century and was not out on 173. Sodhi and Nicholls couldn’t stick with Taylor but Wicketkeeper Watling rotated the strike well and also went onto score a century. The Islanders had declared with a healthy lead of 412 after Watling’s wicket.
Zimbabwe lost the plot as they lost Their First 4 wickets within 3 overs. Boult went relentless and showed that he can pick wickets even in away conditions as he pocketed 4 Wickets against his name. There was a resilient fight back and a desperate effort to save the game by Sean Williams and Graeme Creamer as they put on a 118 run stand which was the highest partnership in the both the innings for Zimbabwe , Both the batsmen were further ratified by the Spin duo of Sodhi & Santner.
New Zealand had ticked all of the boxes coming into the game where as Zimbabwe failed negate the fierce and stormy performances. New Zealand Takes a 1 up lead in the Two match Test-series. The next fixture between the Two sides is scheduled on 6th of August.
– By Akshath Jeksani