Taylor proud of Zimbabwe character

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Captain Brendan Taylor emerged loud and proud, after Zimbabwe challenged a South African unit eight positions superior in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings on Saturday.

Captain Brendan Taylor emerged loud and proud, after Zimbabwe challenged a South African unit eight positions superior in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings on Saturday.

Taylor won the toss and elected to bat first on day one of the one-off fixture at the Harare Sports Club – and dutifully contributed a commanding 93 in a total of 248 for nine.

The talented right-hander struck eight boundaries in a fine 158 vigil stay before holing out to fielder JP Duminy on the midwicket fence off the bowling of spinner Dane Piedt.

Piedt and fast bowler Dale Steyn were the pick of the Proteas bowlers, snaring four wickets each. The former was impressive on debut, after gaining selection ahead of the out-of-form Imran Tahir. The tourists, meanwhile, resisted the urge to debut batsman Stiaan van Zyl too.

"We've shown a lot of character today against the top attack in the world, and we can come back on Sunday and start again," insisted Taylor.

Support roles for the home skipper were relatively few and far between. Opener Hamilton Masakadza failed to convert a promising 45, but tail-ender Tendai Chatara showed plenty of ability with the bat en route to a confident 22.

Chatara and, earlier, middle-order batsman Sean Williams were evidently victims of some poor umpiring. With the Decision Review System unavailable, both right-handers were arguably incorrectly adjudged caught behind.

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