New Zealand – 582 for 4 declared and 166 for 2 declared in 36 overs (Kane Williamson 68*, Ross Taylor 67*; Donald Tiripano 1/14, Mike Chinouya 1/45)
Zimbabwe – 362 and 132 all out in 68.4 overs (Tino Mawoyo 35, Craig Ervine 27; Martin Guptill 3/11, Ish Sodhi 3/19)
New Zealand won by 254 runs
The scorebook will show that Zimbabwe collapsed to defeat to New Zealand by 254 runs after a final innings of 132 all out.
It will, however, not show how their attempts to fight back were somehow ruined by questionable umpiring decisions.
No fewer than five of the dismissals in the final innings were shown by television replays to be incorrect.
Until lunch Zimbabwe had been fighting hard to force a draw, and may well have succeeded.
The home side however paid a heavy price for the absence of the ICC’s Decision Referral System in this series.
Zimbabwe began the final day’s play at 58 for three, having lost Sikandar Raza to a questionable lbw decision to the last ball of the fourth day.
The night-watchman, Donald Tiripano, yet to face a ball, was joined by Craig Ervine, the century-maker of the first innings.
The weather was warm and clear again, and the pitch taking a bit of spin with the occasional delivery keeping low.
The pair did a fine job during the first hour, batting doggedly and taking no risks.
After an hour they had both scored 10 runs, taking the score to 78 for three at drinks.
This came to an end at 97, when Tiripano, who had batted so well for 22, was beaten on the back foot by an off-break from Mitchell Santner and was adjudged lbw, although the television replay showed the ball to be missing leg stump.
Prince Masvaure had a nervous start to his innings, being missed off a hard chance to short leg and then nearly being run out.
He survived, but Ervine did not.
Martin Guptill came on again to bowl his occasional off-breaks for the final over before lunch – Ervine played and missed at a ball that turned away from the left-hander, but he was given out caught at the wicket; 112 for five.
After lunch Zimbabwe seemed to have had the stuffing totally knocked out of them.
Sean Williams, who could have fought as well as he did in the first Test, scored 11, but then lashed out at a ball from Guptill outside his off stump, failing to keep the ball down and Kyle Williamson, at short cover, took a very fine catch in front of his face; 130 for six.
PJ Moor scored only a single before Ish Sodhi got a ball to skid through and trapped him lbw as the ball beat his defensive bat; 131 for seven.
Graeme Cremer fell for 1, lbw to Guptill, but the replay appeared to show an inside edge immediately before the ball hit his pad.
Masvaure was next to go, for 11, erroneously given out caught at slip by a ball that missed his bat and hit his pad.
The last man, Mike Chinouya, fell first ball, pushing a catch to short cover, and Zimbabwe had collapsed to 132 all out.
The last five wickets had fallen for just two runs. There were three wickets each for Sodhi and Guptill.
It could have been a fascinating day’s play, but to the Zimbabwean team there will be bitter feeling about how umpiring errors ripped the heart out of their innings.
The New Zealanders played superbly, but surely even they cannot be entirely happy at the way they secured their victory today.
New Zealand – 582 for 4 in 150 overs (Tom Latham 136, Ross Taylor 124*, Kane Williamson 113; Sean Williams 1/62, Mike Chinouya 1/64)
Zimbabwe – 305 for 6 in 120 overs (Craig Ervine 115*, PJ Moor 71, Chamu Chibhabha 60; Ish Sodhi 2/41, Mitchell Santner 2/102)
Stumps – Day 3: Zimbabwe trail by 277 runs with four wickets remaining in the first innings
Zimbabwe enjoyed their most satisfying day of the series yet against New Zealand on the third day of the second Test match at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Chiefly responsible for this was the left-handed Craig Ervine, who batted magnificently to score his first Test century, with great support from PJ Moor in an outstanding sixth-wicket partnership of 148 runs.
They came together with the total at 147 for five wickets, and just doubled that score before Moor fell for a creditable 71.
This enabled Zimbabwe to finish the day with a score of 305 for six wickets, an outstanding fightback.
Zimbabwe had resumed their first innings in the morning at 55 without loss, thanks to the fighting opening partnership by Tino Mawoyo and Chamu Chibhabha, who batted safely through the entire final session the previous evening.
They nearly lost Chibhabha to the second ball of the day, lbw to Trent Boult; the umpire gave it not out, however, and Zimbabwe would certainly be relieved that, after suffering probably four umpiring errors in the first Test, this decision had gone their way.
After 25 minutes, however, the first wicket fell, as Mawoyo, trying rather too late to shoulder arms to a ball from Tim Southee just outside his off stump, knocked it on to his stumps via the inside edge.
He had played a most valuable and determined innings of 26, which came off 109 balls, and Zimbabwe were 65 for one.
A few minutes later Chibhabha reached his maiden Test fifty, which came off 128 balls.
Sikandar Raza, batting at number three for Zimbabwe for the first time, failed to get going. He struggled to 3 off 30 balls, and then, perhaps expecting one of the usual bouncers from Neil Wagner, instead slashed at a well-pitched ball and was caught in the gully.
Drinks were taken at this point, with the score 83 for two.
Ervine came in next, and was missed off a difficult chance in the slips when he had scored a single. But he survived to play a sound, patient innings, punishing the loose ball well when it came.
Zimbabwe would have been well placed at lunch had Chibhabha not driven uppishly at a ball from the left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, and Kane Williamson, at short extra cover, dived full-length to take a brilliant catch.
Chibhabha had scored 60 off 170 balls, with nine fours.
Zimbabwe went in to lunch on 107 for three, with Ervine on 14.
After the break, Prince Masvaure struggled to score 2 off 25 balls before, playing back to Santner, he found the ball spinning back on to his stumps; 115 for four.
The New Zealand pace bowlers were now getting the ball to reverse-swing, making batting more difficult.
For a time Ervine and Sean Williams batted well together, showing good judgment, until Williams, on 16, chose the wrong ball for a reverse-sweep to the leg-spinner Ish Sodhi; he missed a ball too full in length for the stroke, and was trapped lbw. Zimbabwe were now 147 for five.
Moor looked quite uncertain as he came in to face two spinners on his Test début, but he survived and settled in, looking to carry the attack back to the bowlers.
New Zealand took the second new ball, but runs only came more quickly, with Moor hitting 10 runs off three successive balls from Southee.
At tea the score had reached 185 for five wickets, with Ervine on 48 and Moor 25.
When play resumed Ervine soon ran to his fifty, which took him 110 balls. He proceeded to hit four boundaries off the next eight balls he faced, and with Moor also aggressive the New Zealand bowlers were suddenly on the back foot.
As the partnership grew, Moor reached his aggressive fifty off 75 balls, while Ervine, taking great care in the nineties, finally reached his maiden Test century off 178 balls.
Both scored freely all round the ground off the tiring bowlers, and unusually there were a few misfields from the normally outstanding New Zealand fielding side.
The partnership finally came to an end after the batsmen had added 148. Moor tried to pull a short ball from Sodhi, but mistimed his hit and was sharply caught at midwicket for 71. He faced 125 balls and hit 10 fours; 295 for six.
Ervine did not allow the loss of his partner to affect his batting, and continued to attack with discrimination.
He finished the day on 115, Graeme Cremer had 2, and Zimbabwe, on 305 for six, were still in with a chance of forcing a draw in this match.
New Zealand – 582 for 4 in 150 overs (Tom Latham 136, Ross Taylor 124*, Kane Williamson 113; Sean Williams 1/62, Mike Chinouya 1/64)
Zimbabwe – 55 for 0 in 30 overs (Chamu Chibhabha 31*, Tino Mawoyo 20*)
Stumps – Day 2: Zimbabwe trail by 527 runs with 10 wickets remaining in the first innings
Despite conceding another record total to the New Zealand batsmen, Zimbabwe’s opening batsmen Tino Mawoyo and Chamu Chibhabha fought back superbly in the final session of the second day’s play at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
For 30 overs they withstood the best the New Zealand bowlers could hurl against them, and by the close of play had scored 55 runs for their team without being separated.
New Zealand resumed in the morning on their overnight score of 329 for two wickets, with Kyle Williamson on 95. He was now joined by Ross Taylor, after the dismissal of Tom Latham to the final delivery of the first day.
Zimbabwe quickly took the second new ball. It took Williamson 10 minutes to reach his century, his 14th in Test cricket, and he became the first New Zealander to score a century against each of the other nine Test-playing countries.
The pitch remained as flat as ever, although informed opinion suggested it would start to take more spin as the match progressed. Zimbabwe soon dispensed with their slip fielders as their seam bowlers were getting very little help from the pitch.
Williamson continued until he reached 113, when he cut at a ball from Mike Chinouya, but hit a catch straight to Craig Ervine in the gully.
He faced 151 balls and hit 10 fours; most of his runs came from strong leg-side play and he was particularly severe on short deliveries. The total was now 369 for three wickets.
Henry Nicholls, in next, failed to cash in, and had scored 15 runs when he missed a sweep against a fine delivery from Graeme Cremer and was trapped lbw, at 389 for four.
At this stage Cremer and Chibhabha were forming a good partnership, bowling with great accuracy and forcing the batsmen to work for their runs.
Taylor reached his fifty just before lunch, taking 71 balls in the process. At the interval the score was 436 for four wickets, with Taylor on 50 and BJ Watling 18.
After four full sessions in the field, the Zimbabwe players were struggling as they took the field for the afternoon session.
They needed to rest their main bowlers, and set defensive fields as they tried to restrain the scoring, but it was largely in vain as the tourists kept the score ticking over with little difficulty.
Watling reached his fifty off 92 balls, just before he brought up the 500 for his team.
When Taylor had 92 he cut at a ball from part-time bowler Prince Masvaure, and the edge was missed by the wicketkeeper, PJ Moor. He went on to record his second successive century off 142 balls.
By tea the score was 582 for four, beating their record against Zimbabwe of 576 for six wickets, at which New Zealand had declared in the previous Test match.
Taylor had 124 and Watling 83. At this point Williamson declared the innings closed, which would have disappointed Watling, as he too was on line for two successive centuries.
Taylor faced 173 balls and Watling 142; both hit 10 fours.
The Zimbabwe openers, Mawoyo and Chibhabha, played out five maiden overs before Chibhabha finally drove a ball through the covers to the boundary. Mawoyo finally got off the mark from the 24th ball he faced.
The opening bowlers, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, bowled some hostile deliveries, but the batsmen staved them off, sometimes taking the ball on the body.
New Zealand used five bowlers to try to break through, including Neil Wagner with his bouncers, but by the close the opening stand was still intact, with Mawoyo on 20 and Chibhabha 31.
New Zealand – 329 for 2 in 89.5 overs (Tom Latham 136, Kane Williamson 95*, Martin Guptill 87; Sean Williams 1/15, Donald Tiripano 1/58)
Stumps – Day 1
Zimbabwe struggled to contain the powerful New Zealand batting line-up at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo today, as the visitors, favoured by batting first, ran up 329 runs for the loss of only two wickets.
The highlight was another century from the opening batsman Tom Latham, who played a solid and sound innings of 136.
He was well backed by Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, who both made scores close to a hundred, with Williamson still at the crease at the end of the day.
There was some good fielding from the home side at times, but occasional misfields did mar their efforts.
Zimbabwe’s misfortunes in this series continued as their most experienced batsman, Hamilton Masakadza, was unable to play owing to a back injury.
Regis Chakabva and Brian Chari were omitted, and so opening batsman Tino Mawoyo, off-spinner John Nyumbu and PJ Moor came into the side. Moor was making his début and keeping wicket.
New Zealand, who played an unchanged team, won the toss and naturally decided to bat first on a very flat pitch in warm, sunny weather.
Zimbabwe’s opening bowlers Donald Tiripano and Mike Chinouya were at first unable to find line, length or real pace, and the first three overs went for 27 runs, 21 of them to Guptill.
Then suddenly the bowlers got it together, and four consecutive maiden overs followed.
Chamu Chibhabha came on as first change and did well in restraining the batsmen through medium-paced accuracy.
Captain Graeme Cremer finally took the ball after 90 minutes of play, with the score on 71, and immediately found some spin.
Nyumbu soon came on at the other end, but at the lunch interval New Zealand had reached 101 without loss, Guptill on 49 and Latham 42.
Immediately after the break Guptill reached his fifty, which came off 94 balls. On 52 he made the first mistake by a New Zealand batsman in this match, when he slashed at a ball from Cremer and the thick edge bounced off the keeper’s gloves.
Shortly afterwards Latham reached his fifty off 96 balls.
Generally, though, for a while after lunch Cremer and Chinouya bowled with great accuracy, making the batsmen fight for runs.
This gave Zimbabwe another chance of a wicket, as Guptill chanced a quick single to mid-on, and a direct hit would have run him out.
Finally, with the total at 164, Tiripano broke the partnership, trapping Guptill lbw with a ball that moved in and beat his bat as he played forward. Guptill had scored 87 off 149 balls, and hit 11 fours and a six.
This brought in Williamson, who began smoothly and continued smoothly.
By tea the score had moved on to 206 for one wicket, with Latham now on 78 and Williamson 30.
In the final session New Zealand continued their policy of accumulation, taking no risks, which were scarcely necessary, but just feasting off the loose deliveries.
Latham went on to his second successive century, which came off 190 balls, while Williamson, more fluent, reached his fifty off 74 balls.
Zimbabwe had no more success until the final over of the day, when Latham, with 136 to his credit, drove a ball low back to Sean Williams, who dived to claim the catch. Latham had faced 269 balls and hit 11 fours.
The close of play score was therefore 329 for two wickets, with Williamson still at the crease with 95. If he reaches his century on the final day, that will complete for him a full hand of centuries against all nine other Test-playing countries.