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Late strikes swing Test NZ's way

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/08/2016

Trent Boult inaction for the Black Caps. © Getty Images Trent Boult inaction for the Black Caps. New Zealand's bowlers have taken three wickets late on day four to close in on a second Test victory against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

Having dismissed Zimbabwe first time around for 362 at the start of the day, the Black Caps declared for the second time in the match, this time on 166 for two, setting their hosts 387 to level the two-Test series.

Having moved to 45 without loss, New Zealand removed the top three batsman in Zimbabwe's order in the space of 13 runs, leaving them needing just seven wickets to wrap up victory.

Zimbabwe's hopes of avoiding defeat seemed to rest with Craig Ervine, who in the morning returned to the crease unbeaten on 115, yet quickly found himself with a flurry of new partners.

Graeme Cremer was trapped in front by Trent Boult, Donald Tiripano was accounted for in similar fashion by Neil Wagner and John Nyumbu was caught by Mitchell Santner off Ish Sodhi's bowling, none of the trio surpassing eight.

Ervine was the last to be dismissed, four short of 150, as Sodhi claimed a fourth wicket of the innings to leave Zimbabwe still 220 adrift.

Despite their mammoth lead, Kane Williamson elected against enforcing the follow on and New Zealand's batsmen returned to the crease just before lunch looking to post an insurmountable lead.

Although first-innings centurion Tom Latham, with 13, and Martin Guptill, with 11, both fell early, Williamson and Ross Taylor blasted unbeaten scores of 68 and 67 before declaring.

Taylor's innings was particularly brisk and included three maximums and a quartet of fours as he continued his fine form following his unbeaten ton earlier in the contest.

Zimbabwe's openers Tino Mawoyo and Chamu Chibhabha looked to have negotiated their way to the close without any trouble but once the former fell lbw to Boult for 35, his opening partner soon followed for 14 runs fewer.

Tim Southee then removed the scoreless Sikandar Raza with the final ball prior to stumps to leave New Zealand in a dominant position, 328 runs ahead heading into the fifth and final day.

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