Tiri­pano’s record knock saves Zim blushes

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Bon­gani Ndlovu

A GUTSY ninth wicket stand of 85 runs be­tween tailen­ders Don­ald Tiri­pano and Prince Mas­vaure res­cued Zimbabwe from a po­ten­tially em­bar­rass­ing first in­nings score on day one of the first Test against New Zealand at Queens Sports Club in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day.

Zimbabwe were bun­dled out for 164 runs in 77.5 overs at an av­er­age of 2.1 runs per over. New Zealand were on 32 with­out loss at stumps, with Martin Gup­til on 14 and Tom Latham on 16.

Tiri­pano was one run short of his maiden half cen­tury as he ran out of part­ners af­ter Mas­vaure was trapped leg be­fore wicket by Tim Southee for 42.

The chief de­stroyer was New Zealand pacer Neil Wag­ner, who tore into Zimbabwe’s top or­der bats­men to end with ca­reer best fig­ures of six wick­ets for 41 runs in the long for­mat of the game.

The New Zealand attack em­ployed the short ball, which trou­bled Zimbabwe’s bats­men on a flat wicket.

At 72-8, Zimbabwe looked des­tined to break their low­est Test score at Queens Sports Club of 104 un­til Tiri­pano and Mas­vaure went about re­pair­ing the dam­age.

The tailen­ders plucked away at the New Zealand bowl­ing attack try­ing to mend the hosts’ al­ready tat­tered in­nings.

Tiri­pano said they wanted to stay at the crease for as long as pos­si­ble with debu­tant Mas­vaure.

“When we lost eight wick­ets, I just told Don­ald that we’ve to stay pos­i­tive and if it’s there to score we take that op­por­tu­nity. We made sure we didn’t go out with the short ball be­cause a lot of guys were get­ting out while play­ing the short ball,” said Tiri­pano.

Mas­vaure en­cour­aged his team­mates in the top or­der to work on stay­ing at the crease longer in the sec­ond in­nings.

Wag­ner praised his team’s bowl­ing attack. “It’s quite a nice day to get ca­reer best fig­ures. This is an op­por­tu­nity to play Test cricket and get re­sults and do well for your team, and it’s really pleas­ing. I thought the other guys bowled well and as a whole team we were out­stand­ing and that gave me an op­por­tu­nity to do what I did,” said Wag­ner.

He gave credit to Tiri­pano and Mas­vaure for their re­silience at the crease.

“They bat­ted well and showed a lot of pa­tience and a lot of heart, and made it hard for us on an un­re­spon­sive wicket,” Wag­ner said.

He said their strat­egy was to cast doubt in Zimbabwe’s abil­ity to play the short ball.

“We tried to get play­ers off the front foot and tried to get op­por­tu­ni­ties to get a wicket. Get some doubt in their foot work and get a nick. The wicket be­ing flat, you ob­vi­ously have to try some op­tions to cre­ate the re­sult, and luck­ily it worked,” said Wag­ner. hap­pen to­day, but you will get caught, and you will be­come an em­bar­rass­ment to your friends and fam­ily.”

And on the Zika virus and the prob­lems it has pre­sented for the Rio Olympics, Coven­try said she never once con­sid­ered skip­ping the games.

“Brazil are go­ing to put on a great show. It’s go­ing to be an awe­some Olympics with some out­stand­ing per­for­mances and I can’t wait to get there.”

Onto the last Olympics for Africa’s best Olympian and, ideally, one last medal. But if not, no big deal.

“It’s al­ways been about a de­sire to make the Olympic team and rep­re­sent my coun­try,” Coven­try said. — AP

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cre­mer had ear­lier won the toss in the morn­ing and elected to bat. Brian Chari and Chamunorwa Chib­habha were still try­ing to get a feel of the crease when Tim Southee struck with the sec­ond ball of the in­nings to re­move Chari. This was just af­ter he had hit Southee for four with the first ball.

Masakadza came to the crease, but it wasn’t long be­fore Chib­habha fell to Wag­ner for 15, caught at mid­wicket by Tom Latham, with 35 runs on the board for Zimbabwe.

Next to go was Masakadza, who was caught and bowled by pace­man Sant­ner for 15.

Sean Wil­liams de­parted for a sin­gle run leav­ing Zimbabwe hob­bling on 36-4. Wil­liams at­tempted to lob a short ball from Wag­ner, but found the grate­ful hands of In­der­bir Singh “Ish” Sodhi at mid­wicket.

Craig Ervine and Sikan­dar Raza put on 36 runs for the fifth wicket, which was Zimbabwe’s sec­ond high­est part­ner­ship, be­fore a mid­dle or­der col­lapse.

Ervine went for 13, with the score on 72-5. Wag­ner went on to take the three wick­ets of Raza for 22, Regis Chak­abva and captain Cre­mer for ducks to leave the hosts reel­ing on 72-8.

Tiri­pano and Mas­vaure then went on to re­store a bit of re­spectabil­ity with their 85-run part­ner­ship.

Don­ald Tiri­pano notched up the high­est Test score by a Zimbabwe No. 10 or No. 11 bats­man

Kirsty Coven­try

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