New Zealand did not bowl as well as they should have with the second new ball on day three in Bulawayo, according to their bowling coach Shane Jurgensen, but, he insists, they are still in with a good chance of closing out the Test.
"There is still a long way to go in the match," Jurgensen said after day three, which Zimbabwe ended on 305 for 6, 78 short of avoiding the follow-on. "We did that quite well up until the start of the second new ball. We didn't bowl as well as we wanted to with the second new ball. We've got to work hard and keep toiling away. [But] it's only day three and we've got the runs on the board and we have a lot of time in the game. We're down the bottom end of their innings, and there were signs today that there is bit more spin."
When Kane Williamson called for the second new ball at the start of the 85th over, Zimbabwe were 166 for 5, with Craig Ervine on 46 and Peter Moor on 8; Ervine went on to record a maiden Test ton and finish the day unbeaten, while Moor added 63 more runs to his tally before finally being removed by legspinner Ish Sodhi.
Sodhi claimed two wickets on the day, as did the other slow man, left-armer Mitchell Santner. The faster men enjoyed less success: after effecting the first breakthrough - bowling Tino Mawoyo - Tim Southee could not add to his tally, while Trent Boult went wicketless on the day.
Jurgensen, though, felt both the quicks threatened promisingly. "We're very impressed [with Boult]," he said. "He has improved with every ball he has bowled. He has a lot more confidence, really hitting the wicket hard. He has been quite unlucky, bowled really well and missed out.
"That's what happens on these wickets. Sometimes the bowler who hasn't quite bowled exactly where he wanted to be, gets more wickets. Tim has worked really hard coming to Zimbabwe. He has looked threatening. Happy with his pace. Really good bounce too, which is what he has been working on."
Jurgensen remained non-committal when asked whether New Zealand would enforce the follow-on should they get the chance to do so. "It will depend on how it goes first thing in the morning," he said. "We can't look too far ahead."