Vettori stands firm

Zimbabwe 350 and 100-5 New Zealand 338

Zimbabwe 350 and 100-5 New Zealand 338

New Zealand's left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori defied injury to hit a valuable 49 as his side fought back on the fourth day of the first Test here yesterday.

Vettori, who will not bowl again in the match, batted with a runner because of an injured back and helped the tourists to within 12 runs of Zimbabwe.

New Zealand then captured five wickets for 100, leaving the prospect of a fascinating final day.

Zimbabwe's problems began in the seventh over when Gavin Rennie was bowled for two by Chris Cairns. Stuart Carlisle, who earlier cut Cairns over backward point for six, advanced down the pitch to the off-spinner Paul Wiseman and was bowled for 15.

Two balls later Grant Flower edged a delivery from Shayne O'Connor to the wicketkeeper Adam Parore and Zimbabwe were reduced to 23 for 3.

Alistair Campbell and Andy Flower halted the slump by adding 52 for the fourth wicket before Flower was trapped in front for 22 by Nathan Astle's medium pace.

Craig Wishart scored one before being well held by a diving Mark Richardson at short leg off Wiseman.

New Zealand's revival was built around a stand of 78 between Parore and Vettori, a ninth-wicket record for either side in Tests between the countries.

Parore was left unbeaten on 32 after the leg-spinner Paul Strang wrapped up the innings by dismissing Vettori and O'Connor shortly after lunch. Strang finished with 8 for 109, the best figures by a Zimbabwean in a Test innings.

Fourth day; Zimbabwe won toss

ZIMBABWE - First Innings 350 (A D R Campbell 88, H H Streak 51; P J Wiseman 5-90).

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings

(Overnight: 252 for 7)

C L Cairns b Streak 33

ÿA C Parore not out 32

D L Vettori c and b P A Strang 49

S B O'Connor c Campbell b P A Strang 4

Extras (lb1, nb8) 9

Total (153.5 overs) 338

Fall (cont): 8-252, 9-330.

Bowling: Streak 26-9-67-2; Nkala 21-7-43-0; P A Strang 51.5-11-109-8; B C Strang 25-7-63-0; Mutendera 14-4-29-0; G W Flower 16-4-26-0.

ZIMBABWE - Second Innings

G J Rennie b Cairns 2

S V Carlisle b Wiseman 15

A D R Campbell not out 45

ÿA Flower lbw b Astle 22

C B Wishart c Richardson b Wiseman 1

*H H Streak not out 9

Extras (lb1, w1, nb1) 3

Total (for 5, 57 overs) 100

Fall: 1-6, 2-23, 3-23, 4-75, 5-86.

To bat: D T Mutendera, P A Strang, M L Nkala, B C Strang.

Bowling: Cairns 9-3-22-1; O'Connor 9-5-8-1; Wiseman 20-6-44-2; Richardson 1-0-1-0; Astle 18-10-24-1.

Umpires: R B Tiffin (Zim) and D B Hair (Aus).