Tom Latham's fourth test century and a record partnership for New Zealand against Zimbabwe highlighted day two of the opening test at Bulawayo's Queens Club today.

Lefthand opener Latham made 105 off 209 balls to anchor New Zealand's response to Zimbabwe's inadequate 164, and New Zealand will start the third day at 315 for four, with Ross Taylor on 38 and nightwatchman Ish Sodhi on five.

The century completed a nice double for the Latham family as it was in the same city that his father Rod scored his only test hundred, 119 in 1992.

The second wicket stand of 156 between Latham and Kane Williamson also overtook the old record of 126 by Latham senior and Andrew Jones 24 years ago.


''My dad has mentioned about his century here in the past and I'm sure he would have left a couple of messages for me," Latham said. ''It's nice we've both scored hundreds here.

"The fact Dad got one here was extra special. It's a nice wee stat to have."

Captain Williamson fell nine runs short of completing a full set of hundreds against all test-playing nations.

He edged a catch to slip off rival captain, legspinner Graeme Cremer, having faced 179 balls. It was no more reward than Cremer deserved.

He had beaten Williamson at 32 and 49 and missed out when officials gave Williamson the benefit of a close call when he appeared to be caught at slip on 72, ruling the ball bounced just in front of catcher Sikander Raza.

Latham was finally caught behind off medium pacer Hamilton Masakadza from a tired drive, having batted 307 minutes, while the second new ball did for Henry Nicholls, also caught at the wicket off a decent ball which moved away.

''We're in a reasonably comfortable position. The longer you bat out there the easier the surface gets," Latham said.

He praised the performance of Cremer, who deserved better than one for 113 off 35 overs, but noted the pitch will give more help for the spinners over the course of the next three days.

''It got lower and slower and is only going to deteriorate towards the end," Latham said.
''It was important we occupied the crease. It's starting to turn more and hopefully we can pile on a big total and give ourselves a chance with the ball."