BULAWAYO, July 29 (Reuters) - Opener Tom Latham was unbeaten on 47 as New Zealand stayed in command in the opening test against Zimbabwe by reaching 102 for the loss of one wicket at lunch on the second day at the Queens Sports Club on Friday.
Captain Kane Williamson was not out on seven at lunch after opener Martin Guptill had been caught for 40 in the only breakthrough for the home side during the first session on a warm day in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city.
New Zealand, seeking to build a substantial lead, had moved to within 62 runs of Zimbabwe’s first innings total of 164.
Latham, starting the day 16 not out, was a picture of studied concentration throughout a watchful knock on a flat pitch.
Guptill, who was 14 not out overnight, played a loose drive away from his body and was caught in the gully by Craig Irvine to hand debutant Chamu Chibhabha a first test wicket.
Guptill’s runs came off 88 balls as Zimbabwe’s bowling barely troubled the New Zealanders.
New Zealand began the second day on 32 without loss, 132 runs behind after bowling out the hosts on Thursday.
Zimbabwe, playing their first test in almost two years, had been on course for a worst ever test tally before a ninth wicket stand of 85 pushed them to 164.
Kiwi seamer Neil Wagner claimed career-best test figures of six for 41. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; editing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by xx; firstname.lastname@example.org; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)