Dashing Cairns century lifts New Zealand to record total

Chris Cairns scored his fourth Test century as New Zealand posted their highest score against Zimbabwe in the second Test of the series here yesterday. The tourists made 465, surpassing the 460 they scored in Auckland in 1997-98. Zimbabwe were 31 for 1 in reply at the close of the second day.

Chris Cairns scored his fourth Test century as New Zealand posted their highest score against Zimbabwe in the second Test of the series here yesterday. The tourists made 465, surpassing the 460 they scored in Auckland in 1997-98. Zimbabwe were 31 for 1 in reply at the close of the second day.

Cairns, who made 124 from 172 balls with 13 fours, put on 144 with Dion Nash - a New Zealand record for the eighth wicket against any opposition, surpassing the 137 Nash and Daniel Vettori shared against India in Wellington in 1997-98.

New Zealand, resuming on 226 for 4, lost their fifth wicket to a run out when Nathan Astle (86) failed to beat Mpumelelo Mbangwa's throw from deep when attempting a second run. Mbangwa struck again with the last ball of the morning session when he trapped Craig McMillan leg before for 15.

Three overs into the second session New Zealand's wicketkeeper, Adam Parore, was dismissed for four when his top-edged cut to a Henry Olonga delivery was caught by Andy Flower behind the stumps. Cairns and Nash then delayed Zimbabwe's progress until 50 minutes after tea when Nash (62) skied a wide delivery from the leg-spinner Paul Strang to backward point.

Strang's next delivery claimed Cairns, who ventured out of his crease to drive and was stumped as the ball rebounded off Flower's gloves on to the stumps. Three runs later Shayne O'Connor drove a ball from the left-arm spinner Grant Flower to mid-off.

In reply Zimbabwe had 17 overs to face before the close. However, Cairns' good day continued when he had Gavin Rennie caught by Craig Spearman at third slip for just four.

Second day; New Zealand won toss

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings (Overnight: 226 for 4)

N J Astle run out (Mbangwa) 86 C D McMillan lbw b Mbangwa 15 C L Cairns st A Flower b Strang 124 ÿA C Parore c A Flower b Olonga 4 D J Nash c G Flower b Strang 62 P J Wiseman not out 1 S B O'Connor c Whittall b G Flower 2 Extras (lb3 nb12 w2) 17 Total (160.3 overs) 465

Fall (cont): 5-256 6-302 7-318 8-462 9-462.

Bowling: Olonga 27-3-115-3 (nb12 w1), Streak 29-6-74-0, Nkala 15-0-60-1, Mbangwa 28-10-58-2 (w1), Strang 38-11-80-2, G Flower 20.3-6-59-1, Rennie 3-0-16-0.

ZIMBABWE - First Innings

G W Flower not out 11 G J Rennie c Spearman b Cairns 4 S V Carlisle not out 15 Extras (b1) 1 Total (for 1, 17 overs) 31

Fall: 1-5.

To bat: A D R Campbell, ÿA Flower, G J Whittall, *H H Streak, P A Strang, M L Nkala, M Mbangwa, H K Olonga.

Bowling: Cairns 5-3-4-1, O'Connor 6-2-9-0, Nash 4-1-14-0, McMillan 2-0-3-0.

Umpires: I D Robinson (Zim) and D R Shepherd (Eng).

* Shamila Batohi, the advocate for South Africa's King Commission probing allegations of cricket corruption, had a "fruitful" meeting with India's federal police agents yesterday. Delhi police claim they have audio tapes of the former South African captain Hansie Cronje agreeing to fix matches. Batohi met with the officials who are trying to determine if Indian cricketers are involved in the scandal.

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