Craig Ervine’s Ton Helps Zimbabwe Stabilize against New Zealand

August 09 13:56 2016

zimNew Delhi, Tuesday, August 9 – At Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, the second Test match between New Zealand and Zimbabwe started from August 6. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to bat first. His Playing XI comprised Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Martin Guptill, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult. The players to sit on bench were Mark Craig, Matt Henry, Luke Ronchi, Doug Bracewell and Jeet Raval.

The hosts wanted to do better than previous Test. Graeme Cremer was supposed to guide his men in the best way possible so that a victory can be tasted. His squad included Chamu Chibhabha, Sikandar Raza, Tino Mawoyo, Craig Ervine, Prince Masvaure, Peter Moor, Donald Tiripano, John Nyumbu, Michael Chinouya and Sean Williams.  The cricketers to occupy seats were Hamilton Masakadza, Regis Chakabva, Brian Chari, Taurai Muzarabani, Richmond Mutumbami and N Ncube.

As a matter of fact, the Kiwis were likely to shine on their tour of Zimbabwe, making best use of the pitch conditions on their short trip this time. As expected, they crushed the hosts by an innings and 117 runs in the opening Test, which held from July 28 to August 1. Zimbabwe did not succeed to stand strong in front of the Kiwis, losing wickets at different time intervals. Here is to describe that it was the best chance for them to put behind the poor form. The Zimbabwe players may have expected a fresh start but best efforts can’t be poured in a way that could help them shine.

When they began to contest against the Black Caps in the 2nd & final Test, which is steadily heading towards its end, many thought the challenge will be bigger than what it was earlier. The average 1st inning score on the ground is 300 and average 2nd inning score is 412. More to the point, average 3rd inning score is 205 and average 4th inning score is 169. New Zealand got the chance to lead the two-match Test series by 1-0 after Graeme Cremer’s men succumbed at 164 runs in the first innings and 295 runs in the second innings in 1st Test.

New Zealand declared their 1st Innings at a score of 582 what they earned for the loss of four wickets in 150 overs. Martin Guptill and Tom Latham gave their team a fantastic start, weaving a partnership of 169 runs. The opening duo made best use of the weak deliveries bowled by the rivals, letting the ball to touch the boundary line whenever possible. Guptill was lbw by Donald Tiripano when he was just 13 runs away from hitting a ton. His knock of 87 runs in 149 deliveries comprised 11 fours and a six. But the next three batsmen after him were able to pocket tons in sheer perfection, leaving no option for Zimbabweans to see runs getting piled up after each over. Latham was dismissed by Sean Williams, who showed quickness in catching the ball. 136 runs off 269 balls comprised 11 fours.

Kane Williamson also played wonderfully, giving no chance to Zimbabwe think of another breakthrough in the next few overs. When C Ervine took a catch, Chinouya was sure that one wicket has come into his pocket as well. He scored 113 runs in 151 balls, with the help of 10 boundaries. Henry Nicholls was the only one to lose his wicket early after being lbw by Cremer. He could only score 15 runs in 24 balls, together with three 4s. Ross Taylor was not out at a score of 124 in 173 balls.  10 boundaries were the highlights of his play. BJ Watling – the wicket-keeper batsman of New Zealand was not out at 83 runs in 142. His innings were also studded with 10 fours. A total close to 600 was good enough for keeping the Kiwis strong.

Santner, Ish Sodhi, Southee, Wagner and Boult did not need to bat as the top and middle order batsmen did their bit. The best came out from them perhaps they did not assume Zimbabwe an underdog team what usually heavyweights do. Pressure was such on Cremer that he opt for eight-bowling options, which included himself as well. Michael Chinouya, Donald Tiripano, Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams got one wicket each, while on the other hand, Sikandar Raza, Prince Masvaure, John Nyumbu and Chamu Chibhabha carried on to look forward for a wicket but did not succeed. The start of Zimbabwe wasn’t bad to as compared to the visitors. Tino Mawoyo was dismissed by Southee in 36th over post scoring 26 runs in 109 balls, together with five fours.

Chamu Chibhabha was eying a partnership that did not come from Sikandar Raza, who lost his wicket to N Wagner at a score of 3 in 30 balls. Chamu Chibhabha was the next man to depart thanks to a catch by Williamson in Santner’s over. 60 runs were scored by him in 170 balls, inclusive of nine 4s. Prince Masvaure was dismissed by Santner at a score of 2. Sean Williams was lbw by Ish Sodhi when playing at an individual total of 16 (4 x 2). Peter Moor also succumbed to Ish Sodhi but scored 71 runs in 125 balls, along with 11 4s. Craig Ervine will resume batting at 115 runs today. So far, he struck 15 fours. Graeme Cremer will start batting at a score of 2.

On Day 3, Zimbabwe scored 305 runs for the loss of six wickets till stumps. They yet trail by 277 runs. A lot will depend on how they progress ahead. Today’s play will be of huge importance. If Zimbabwe batsmen, who are to start their game in a short while, are able to pull off today, it will be possible to take the match to end in a draw. The Kiwis, on the other hand, would wish to take remaining wickets and ask the opponents to start their 2nd innings. They may even continue to bat. Donald Tiripano, John Nyumbu and Chinouya are yet to bat. The good show in the previous match against the hosts may be of great help to the travellers.

  Categories: