New Zealand A Manager Rod Latham gives an update after week one in Zimababwe.
I am writing this report from the dressing room looking out over the Harare Sports Club ground as our batsmen begin the 2nd innings of our first 4 day game. The weather is very hot with most days between 30 – 36 degrees, a gentle breeze keeping the temperature from being any hotter.
After travelling for 30 hours to reach Harare at 11.30pm the team settled in very quickly and got into their work the very next day at training. A day that was supposed to be a quiet jog around to work off the long flight turned out to be a full practice owing to the players enthusiasm to participate and contribute to this tour.
Getting into it
The next day we played our two day warm up game against the Mountaineers who were the Zimbabwe franchise champions. This team was coached by former South African fast bowler Alan Donald who was very accommodating in allowing all of our players the opportunity to participate before our first serious game against Zimbabwe A. Most of our players had good workouts and enabled them to get used to different conditions (Altitude, Heat and very, very hard pitches).
The Rainbow Towers Hotel is very satisfactory with it currently undergoing renovation. We are all located on the 5th floor with security tight. We have a guard outside the lift to manage people coming and going. We have been welcomed with open arms by Zimbabwe Cricket and they have bent over backwards to make our stay an enjoyable one.
Going along nicely on day 3
We are now into day three of our first match of the series and we have made good progress. Batting first we made 425 all out with Daniel Flynn making his highest 1st class score of 162, Jamie How 92 and Gareth Hopkins 50 not out. We then had them 228/6 overnight on day two with Nick Beard and James Franklin the main destroyers. Continuing today the Zimbabwe team finally declared after half an hours play in session two on 365/7. As I write this we are 29/1 in our second innings.
We are planning a day of recreation on Monday following recovery. The team will be visiting a game farm where they will be driven around to look at all the wildlife and potentially walk and pat some lions. I believe they are tamed but with any big cat - who knows. We are also planning a trip to Victoria Falls so will send some photos in due course.
Well that’s our first week completed in Zimbabwe and the boys are in good fettle. The team spirit is outstanding and everyone is working hard for each other to make this a successful tour.