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NZ in the runs on first day of Africa tour

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/07/2016

Four half-centuries were registered as New Zealand enjoyed some much-needed time in the middle against Zimbabwe A to begin their tour of Africa.

Opener Martin Guptill top-scored with 74 as the Black Caps reached 345-7 on the first day of the three-day affair after winning the toss at the Harare Sports Club. Only four wickets were actually lost, with three batsmen retiring.

Playing their first game together since the World Twenty20 semi-final loss to England in India on March 30, the tourists are seeking to adapt to local conditions ahead of two Tests against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

Guptill and Tom Latham (24) saw off some early swing to put on 44 for the first wicket before Latham was caught behind down the leg side.

Uncapped batsman Jeet Raval (30) and Guptill took New Zealand to 111-1 at lunch but both departed early in the second session, falling to seamer Gerald Aliseni, who claimed Zimbabwe A's best figures of 2-31.

Henry Nicholls and BJ Watling were untroubled in scoring 52 and 61 respectively before both retired, along with Mitchell Santner, who pulled off the gloves at 32.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi brought some life to the closing session, notching nine fours as he raced to an unbeaten 54 off 69 balls.

All 16 players in the New Zealand tour party are listed to be involved in the match.

The first of two Tests starts on Thursday, followed by two Tests in South Africa.

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