Cairns' century puts New Zealand on top

Published: Friday, August 4, 2000, 16:30 [IST]
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Harare: New Zealand were all set to consolidate their position in the two-Test series against Zimbabwe. At the draw of stumps on the second day, Zimbabwe had scored 31 for one off 17 overs in reply to New Zealand's strong first innings score of 465 all out in 160.3 overs.The mastery of all-rounder Chris Cairns was to the fore as the Zimbabwe bowlers were made to suffer for the second consecutive day. Cairns smashed a superb century to put New Zealand in a position of strength.Cairns' knock of 124 came off 174 balls and included 13 hits to the fence and three over it.

Cairns found a suitable ally in Dion Nash (62 runs off 134 balls with seven fours and one six). The two Kiwi batsmen continued to pile the agony for the Zimbabwe bowlers.Resuming at their overnight score of 226 for four, New Zealand lost Astle for 86. Astle was unfortunate to be run out after facing 203 balls, 11 off which he dispatched to the boundary. Craig McMillan also did not last too long.But, Zimbabwe's hope of ending the New Zealand innings quickly faded with Cairns and Nash taking centre stage.

Cairns and Nash added 144 runs for the eighth wicket as New Zealand grew in strength.Cairns returned to torment the Zimbabwe batsmen with the ball and struck the first blow. Cairns had opener G Rennie caught by Spearman for four. Opener Grant Flower (11 runs off 61 balls with two fours) and S Carlisle (15 runs, 35 balls, two fours) remained unbeaten to see Zimbabwe through without further loss.New Zealand had won the first Test by seven wickets at Bulawayo on the fifth day.

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