Whittall's century gives hope to spirited Zimbabwe

New Zealand 465 Zimbabwe 166 & 228-5

New Zealand 465 Zimbabwe 166 & 228-5

Guy Whittall scored his third Test century here yesterday to help Zimbabwe in their attempt to avoid an innings defeat at the hands of New Zealand on the fourth day of the second Test in the series.

Zimbabwe, who followed on 299 behind, recovered from 48 for 4 to 228 for 5 in their second innings at the close, with Whittall unbeaten on 105. Whittall has batted for 198 minutes, faced 208 balls and hit 15 fours and two sixes in his spirited innings. He reached his hundred with a towering straight six off the medium pace of Nathan Astle.

Andy Flower was Whittall's main ally in the fightback, as the pair put on 131 for the fifth wicket, a record for Zimbabwe against New Zealand. Flower was out 25 minutes after tea for 65 when his fierce cut was spectacularly caught by a diving Mathew Sinclair at point. The left-hander was in for 192 minutes in which he faced 133 balls, hitting eight fours and a six.

Zimbabwe, 6 for 1 overnight, lost their second wicket after an hour's play when the opener, Grant Flower (10), was run out by Paul Wiseman's throw from point to the bowler's end. Two overs later, Alistair Campbell (10) was also run out, beaten by a throw from Sinclair in the covers. The fourth wicket fell when Stuart Carlisle (20) cut a delivery from Astle to the captain, Stephen Fleming, in the gully.

The captain, Heath Streak, then joined Whittall to extend the comeback, the pair adding 49 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand. New Zealand lead the two-Test series 1-0.


Fourth day; New Zealand won toss

New Zealand - First innings 465 (C L Cairns 124, M Richardson 99, N J Astle 86, D J Nash 62).

Zimbabwe - First innings 166

Zimbabwe - Second inningsOvernight: 6 for 1

G W Flower run out (Wiseman) 10 S V Carlisle c Fleming b Astle 20 A D R Campbell run out (Sinclair) 10 A Flower c Sinclair b O'Connor 65 G J Whittall not out 105 *H H Streak not out 10 Extras (b4 lb3) 7

Total (for 5) 228

Fall (cont): 2-27, 3-39, 4-48, 5-179.

To bat: M L Nkala, P A Strang, H K Olonga, M Mbangwa.

Bowling: O'Connor 26-12-36-2, Nash 17-8-27-0, McMillan 17-3-49-0, Astle 22-9-52-1, Cairns 16-4-34-0, Wiseman 6-2-23-0.

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