Captain Brendan Taylor’s unbeaten half-century kept hosts Zimbabwe afloat as they reached tea on 165 for five on the first day of their one-off Test against South Africa at the Harare Sports Club.
Taylor was more than equal to everything that South Africa’s much-vaunted pace attack threw at him and went into the break on 60 not out along with Richmond Mutumbami, who was on 15.
First-ranked South Africa were expected to rifle through No. 9 Zimbabwe, but Taylor and his side seemed bent on avoiding a rout.
Dale Steyn did some damage, picking up his 376th and 377th wickets to move past West India great Malcolm Marshall on the list of Test cricket’s leading wicket-takers, while debutant Dane Piedt made history as the 19th Test cricketer to take up a wicket with his first ball to trap Mark Vermeulen leg-before-wicket for 14.
Offspinner Piedt claimed two wickets in three balls in the afternoon session on his way to figures of 3 for 61 from 14 overs, dismissing Hamilton Masakadza for 45 and Regis Chakabva for a duck.
Sean Williams responded with a counter-attacking 24 before he became Steyn’s second wicket and Zimbabwe fell to 120 for five.
Taylor and Mutumbami survived fiery reverse-swing bowling from Steyn and short deliveries from Morne Morkel to see Zimbabwe safely to tea.
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