Latham helps New Zealand tighten grip

Tom Latham (AFP)
Tom Latham (AFP)

Bulawayo - Opener Tom Latham closed in on a half-century as New Zealand consolidated their grip on the first Test against Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club on Friday.

Latham was content to take the patient approach on the second morning as he added 31 runs to his overnight score to go to lunch on 47, as New Zealand reached 102 for one in response to Zimbabwe's 164 all out.

Martin Guptill was the only wicket to fall in the morning session, as he reached for a delivery from Chamu Chibhabha and edged low to gully to depart for 40.

That brought captain Kane Williamson to the crease, and slowed down New Zealand's run scoring as they added just 23 runs in the next 10 overs.

Williamson had seven from 29 balls when lunch came around with New Zealand trailing by just 62 runs.

Left-arm paceman Neil Wagner was the standout performer on day one, when his career-best figures of 6 for 41 helped to bowl Zimbabwe out cheaply on a placid surface.

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