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Taylor, Watling take New Zealand clear of Zimbabwe

BULAWAYO (Reuters) - Ross Taylor and BJ Watling put on an unbeaten sixth wicket stand of 100 to boost New Zealand's total on the third morning of the first test against Zimbabwe as the tourists went to lunch on 423 for five at the Queens Sports Club on Saturday.

Taylor will resume after the interval on 87 along with Watling (50 not out) as New Zealand look to build on their 259-run lead having dismissed Zimbabwe for 164 on the first day.

After resuming on 315-4, nightwatchman Ish Sodhi (11) was the only wicket to fall in the session as he became the first test victim for debutant seamer Michael Chinouya when he edged to replacement wicketkeeper Brian Chari.

Chari is deputising behind the stumps for Regis Chakabva, who has been laid low with a high temperature.

Taylor, who will be eying a 14th test century, and Watling kept the scoring rate ticking over as they built a sizeable lead that will put the brittle Zimbabwe line-up under immense pressure when they bat again.

Watling brought up his 12th test half-century two deliveries before lunch with a boundary to square leg, having taken 84 balls to reach the milestone.

Opener Tom Latham (105) and captain Kane Williamson (91) provided the impetus for the innings on day two.

The latter fell short of his century after a sharp catch at slip by Hamilton Masakadza off the leg spin bowling of home skipper Graeme Cremer.

The New Zealanders will be looking to continue their batting as long as possible with Williamson saying before the test that his side would seek valuable time at the crease to prepare for tougher series in South Africa and India in the coming months.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by John O'Brien)

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