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Harare Test: Wagner on song with five-wicket haul as Zimbabwe wilt

July 28, 2016 19:30 IST

IMAGE: New Zealand's Neil Wagner celebrates a wicket. Photograph: Nigel Marple/Reuters.

Neil Wagner claimed a five-wicket haul from a fiery spell of fast bowling as New Zealand reduced hosts Zimbabwe to 120 for eight at tea on day one of the first Test at Queen’s Sports Club on Thursday.

Wagner took three wickets in an over to trigger Zimbabwe's middle-order collapse, and at tea had figures of five for 31 from 16 overs after finding life in what is a good batting track.

A patient unbeaten 48-run ninth-wicket stand between debutant Prince Masvaure (20 not out) and Donald Tiripano (28 not out) got the home side past the hundred mark, but it was slow going with the run-rate barely above two an over.

Zimbabwe had won the toss and elected to bat, but lost Brian Chari (four) to the second ball of the innings as he edged Tim Southee to Martin Guptill at second slip.

Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner (2-12) had Hamilton Masakadza (15) caught and bowled, before Craig Ervine (13) came down the wicket and was stumped by wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

But it was South African-born Wagner who had the batsmen hopping on the crease with a succession of well-directed bouncers.

Debutant opener Chamu Chibhabha (15) tried a pull, but succeeded only in picking out Tom Latham at midwicket, before Sean Williams (one) lobbed a catch to Ish Sodhi.

He was convinced the ball had come off his helmet and not the bat, but with no review system for this series had to accept the decision of Australian umpire Paul Reiffel.

And then came that explosive 33rd over as Wagner tore through the middle-order to leave the Zimbabwe innings in tatters.

He had Sikandar Raza (22) caught, also at mid-wicket, by Latham and Regis Chakabva (0) caught behind, and he forced captain Graeme Cremer to edge a rising delivery to short leg Henry Nicholls for a first-ball duck.

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