6 Aug 2016

Blow for Zimbabwe as opener ruled out

8:15 am on 6 August 2016

Zimbabwe's opening batsman, Hamilton Masakadza, has been ruled out of the second cricket test against New Zealand which begins at Bulawayo tonight.

Hamilton Masakadza drives a delivery from Morne Morkel during the ICC World Twenty20 Pool C match between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Hambantota, Sri Lanka on the 20th September 2012

Hamilton Masakadza batting during the 2012 ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka Photo: Photosport

Masakadza is nursing a left lower-back strain from the first test, which the Black Caps won by an innings and 117 runs last weekend.

It's a major blow to the hosts' already slim hopes. with the 32-year-old's 30 test appearances making him Zimbabwe's most experienced player.

Masakadza is the only omission from the 15-man squad from the first test, with his place taken by the offspinner John Nyumbu.

Meanwhile, Black Caps have spent the week recovering from a flu that went through the team, causing some players to lose their voices