Craig Ervine scored his maiden test century and Peter Moor hit 71 on debut as Zimbabwe fought back in the second test against New Zealand on Monday.
The hosts reached 305-6 in their first innings at stumps on the third day in a bid to avoid the follow-on and need another 78 runs to do so after New Zealand’s 582-4 declared.
Ervine, a 30-year-old left-hander, was unbeaten on 115 after cracking 15 fours in 213 balls at Queens Sports Club to rescue the hosts from 185-5 at lunch.
“Test cricket is the ultimate. To score a Test hundred against a team like New Zealand . I can’t ask for more,” said Ervine.
Moor gave Ervine solid support after lunch, showing no nerves in his first Test with composed stroke play, including 11 fours. The pair shared a 148-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Moor was eventually caught by Martin Guptill at midwicket off spinner Ish Sodhi (2-41).
“He definitely played positive cricket,” Ervine said of Moor. “He played good shots, good positive cricket, which also helped me. I enjoyed the partnership.”
New Zealand leads the two-Test series 1-0.
Earlier, opener Chamu Chibhabha laid the foundation for Zimbabwe with a well-worked 60, his first Test half-century. Chibhabha fell before lunch after he was caught in the covers by Kane Williamson from the bowling of spinner Mitchell Santner (2-102).
“It’s still a long way to go in the match,” said New Zealand’s bowling coach Shane Jurgensen.
“We had plans for certain players in the Zimbabwe team. We did that quite well up until probably the start of the second new ball. We probably didn’t bowl quite as we would want with the second new ball.”
New Zealand’s first innings was built around three centuries from Tom Latham, Williamson and Ross Taylor.