Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat in Thursday's first one-day international against New Zealand at Harare Sports Club.
At 21 for 4 after 11 overs, crease-occupation became Taylor's sole aim, and he plodded away cautiously in Forster Mutizwa's company. Release came in rare spurts, and predominantly against Andy McKay. Taylor cracked him square before carving another wide ball through the covers, while Mutizwa rocked back to slam him emphatically over midwicket. Franklin's disciplined lines were tougher to get away, and Taylor nearly chopped him onto the stumps in the 19th over.
The pressure finally eased when the debutant Rob Nicol trotted in for some offspinners, the most striking feature of his bowling being the similarity in his mannerisms and appearance to a younger version of Daniel Vettori. Taylor and Mutizwa handled Nicol and Nathan McCullum with relative ease to put on a fifty-run stand. Zimbabwe will need a lot more from them if they want to entertain thoughts of a score in excess of 200.
The host welcome back wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu, who has recovered from a finger injury, and opening batsman Vusi Sibanda, whose mother died last week.
For New Zealand, Jacob Oram missed out through illness and was replaced by 31-year-old seamer Andy McKay.