McCullum, Vettori rescue Kiwis

Harare, August 7:

Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum both hit dashing centuries as New Zealand reached a staggering 452-9 in the first Test against Zimbabwe. Vettori’s was the quickest-ever by a New Zealand batsman and his 127 was achieved off just 98 balls. McCullum took 112-balls for his 111 as New Zealand recovered from 113-5. Zimbabwe had got off to a good start with the ball after putting New Zealand in to bat, Blessing Mahwire taking three wickets, but they leaked runs. The tourists slumped to 24-2 after Mahwire took two wickets in three balls, accounting for openers James Marshall and Lou Vincent. Wickets fell regularly before McCullum joined Fleming in a stand of 120. Fleming was dimissed for 73 on the stroke of tea but McCullum and Vettori piled on the runs. New Zealand brought fast bowler Shane Bond into the side for his first Test in two years after recovering from a career-threatening injury and he was unbeaten on 41 at the end of the day’s play. Zimbabwe welcomed back Heath Streak and Stuart Carlisle for their first home series for 18 months after a major dispute with the board, while batsman Neil Ferreira made his Test debut.