An unbeaten knock by Craig Ervine helped Zimbabwe to reach a respectable position at the end of Day 3 of the second Test at Bulawayo. Zimbabwe have mounted a total of 305 for six thanks to some excellent batting from Craig Ervine and debutant Peter Moor who scored a bolstering knock of 71 on his debut. New Zealand put in a determined bowling effort on Monday but were thwarted by an increasingly dogged home side. While the tourists managed three wickets in the opening session of the day, Ervine found an able partner in debutant Peter Moor, who scored 71 in a 148-run partnership for the sixth wicket that took more than a session out of the game.“We’re down the bottom end of their innings. There were signs today that the carry is a bit lower and the pitch is taking a bit more turn.” Zimbabwe’s total might have looked very different had Ross Taylor held a regulation slip catch off the bowling of Tim Southee when Ervine was on just one.However Ervine battled on, seeing off a threatening spell of reverse swing from Trent Boult as well as the second new ball, and reached his hundred in the final hour of the day. “Since I was tiny a hundred in Test cricket was always a dream for me,” he said afterwards. “I had to work really hard ball after ball after ball to keep the concentration going but in the end it paid off. Zimbabwe are already 1-0 down in the series as they lost the opening match where New Zealand won by an innings and 117 runs.With the batting effort shown by the host on Day 3, it is expected that will avoid the follow-on which they trail by 77 runs. New Zealand bowlers looked clueless for most of the time in Day 3 as the host mounted up to a decent total. Zimbabwe will certainly look to hold on for some more time on Day 4 and will aim for toiling most of the 4th days play and if they happen to do so, it will diminish the chances of New Zealand’s clean sweep in the series.
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