Part-timers spin New Zealand to victory in 2nd Test
HEADINGLEY – Part-time spinners Ish Sodhi and Martin Guptill bagged three wickets each as Zimbabwe folded on the final day of the second Test to hand New Zealand a comprehensive 254-run victory on Wednesday.
New Zealand won the two-match series 2-0 after bowling Zimbabwe out for 132 in their second innings, though the home side were hampered by poor umpiring decisions.
Sodhi took 3-19 and Guptill career-best figures of 3-11 as they tore through the Zimbabwe batting line-up after lunch having set the home side an imposing victory target of 387.
“It was a great effort, we knew it was going to be tough to take 20 wickets on this surface,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said at the post-match presentation.
“Our whole squad is stepping up. It’s causing a few problems but it’s a good problem to have. It’s important we look to improve, we have a big challenge coming up in South Africa.”
Zimbabwe resumed on 58 for three in the morning session and batted for 22 overs without losing a wicket, before the first of a number of bad decisions against the home side.
Nightwatchman Donald Tiripano (22) had used up 96 deliveries before he was adjudged lbw by Australian umpire Paul Reiffel off the bowling of Mitchell Santner, even though the ball appeared to be missing the leg stump.
With no umpire review system being used in the series, the home side were unable to challenge.
First-innings centurion Craig Ervine (27) was on the end of another dubious call from Reiffel when he was incorrectly given out caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling off Guptill.
It proved a turning-point as the home side lost their remaining five wickets for 20 runs.
Sean Williams (11) was Guptill’s second victim as he smashed a drive to Williamson at short cover, before debutant Peter Moor (one) was plumb lbw to Sodhi.
Graeme Cremer (1) got an inside edge on to the pad off Guptill but was given out lbw by Reiffel, before umpire Michael Gough adjudged Prince Masvaure (11) had been caught by Ross Taylor at slip off Sodhi the ball came off his pad only.
There could be no complaints but the wicket that finished the game, though, as Michael Chinouya (0) offered a simple catch to Williamson.
“We showed fight. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Zimbabwe skipper Cremer said.
“Any cricket for us is really appreciated. We need to be playing more to be more competitive.”
New Zealand now head to South Africa for a two-Test series starting in Durban on Aug. 19. –Reuters