Latham century extends New Zealand’s hold
Almost 24 years after Rod Latham scored 119 in New Zealand’s first ever Test in Bulawayo, his son Tom emulated the feat, bringing up his own century against Zimbabwe on the second day of the first Test on Friday (July 29).
Tom Latham made 105 at Queens Sports Club as New Zealand moved to 315 for 4, extending its lead over the home side to 151 runs at stumps.
“I only realised it when I came off,” said Latham after the day’s play. “It is pretty nice for us to have both scored hundreds here.”
New Zealand’s total was built on a 156-run stand for the second wicket between Latham and Kane Williamson, the captain.
After Martin Guptill fell in the morning for 40 when he edged a Chamu Chibhabha delivery to Craig Ervine at gully, the duo stuck it out to frustrate the Zimbabwe bowlers.
The bowlers, for their part, did well to restrict the scoring, but couldn’t make regular breakthroughs. Graeme Cremer, the legspinner, proved the pick of the lot, as he found sharp turn and bounce and occasionally beat the edge in the 35 overs he has bowled.
“There wasn’t a huge amount of pace on the ball and they managed to get it to reverse quite early on,” said Latham. “It was nice to soak up that early pressure, get through the tough parts and build a couple of big partnerships.”
Hamilton Masakadza finally broke the stand after tea when Latham was caught behind. Cremer then sent Williamson back for 91, caught by Masakadza at slip. Donald Tiripano had Henry Nicholls caught behind for 15 with the second new ball late in the day.
At stumps, Ross Taylor was batting on 38, with Ish Sodhi, the nightwatchman, for company on 5.
Cremer, the captain, was pleased with his team’s effort. “I thought the guys fought hard. [New Zealand] didn’t run away with the game. We kept them in check. We knew it was going to be tough to get wickets because it’s a good batting surface so we wanted them to go at two or three runs an over and we wanted to take some wickets, which we did. We are still upset we didn’t score enough runs but that’s the way it is.”
On the first day, Zimbabwe had folded for 164 following Neil Wagner’s six-wicket haul.