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Ervine century leads Zimbabwe fightback

Batsman’s unbeaten 115 takes home side to 305 for 6 against New Zealand on third day, just 78 away from avoiding follow-on

Ervine century leads Zimbabwe fightback - Cricket News
Ervine, despite wickets tumbling, remained unruffled.
Craig Ervine’s maiden Test century helped Zimbabwe keep New Zealand at bay for a significant part of the third day of the second Test in Bulawayo on Monday (August 8).

Ervine had a reprieve early on, but made the most of the slice of luck with an unbeaten 115, guiding the visiting side to 305 for 6, only 78 runs short of avoiding the follow-on. The side still trails New Zealand's 582 for 4 declared by another 277 runs.

It was a much-improved effort from Zimbabwe's batsmen after the first Test, which it lost by an innings inside four days.

Zimbabwe resumed in the morning at 55 without loss and though New Zealand's bowlers tried their best to induce a mistake from the batsmen on Monday, they showed they were up for the challenge.

Three wickets did fall in the first session of the day, but Ervine steadied the innings with debutant Peter Moor, who made 71 in a 148-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Moor's dismissal in the final half-hour of the day, offering a catch to Martin Guptill at midwicket off Ish Sodhi, however offered some relief for Zealand.

Earlier in the morning, Zimbabwe lost opener Tino Mawoyo, playing on to Southee, and Sikandar Raza to Neil Wagner. 

Ervine could have been out next on 1, but Ross Taylor dropped the catch off Southee.

Meanwhile, Chamu Chibhabha brought up his maiden Test fifty but departed for 60 on the stroke of lunch. 

After the break, Mitchell Santner bowled Prince Masvaure for 2 and Sodhi had Sean Williams trapped lbw for 16 as the batsman was looking to play a reverse-sweep.

Ervine, despite wickets tumbling, remained unruffled. He saw off a threatening spell of reverse swing from Trent Boult as well as the second new ball, before getting to a well-deserved hundred in the last hour of the day. 

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