Napier Test: New Zealand 331/5 at stumps vs Zimbabwe on Day one

Napier: Captain Ross Taylor struck his sixth Test century as New Zealand moved in fits and starts to 331-5 after being sent into bat on the opening day of the one-off rubber against Zimbabwe.

Taylor was 111 not out at stumps, helping New Zealand build solidly on the 124-run opening partnership between Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill.

McCullum made 83, Guptill 51 and former captain Daniel Vettori a valuable 38 as New Zealand prospered despite losing what was thought to be an important toss.

"It wasn't a bad day, especially being sent in on what was being talked about as a pretty good pitch to bowl on," McCullum said.

"To have got through the day and to have a player on 111 not out at stumps made a good day for us. The pitch showed a bit and our attack may be a bit more potent than theirs was in days to come."

More grass than usual was left on the pitch at McLean Park and it was expected to assist the quicker bowlers, prompting New Zealand to name a four-pronged pace attack.

Zimbabwe was more conservative and named an attack based around the 22-year-old quick Kyle Jarvis, his opening partner Brian Vitori and the brothers Shingirai and Hamilton Masakadza.

Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer was named in place of veteran left-arm spinner Ray Price, who has a groin injury.

Jarvis was the best of the Zimbabwe bowlers, bowling an exacting line throughout the day and finishing with McCullum's wicket at a cost of 56 runs from 22 overs.

He twice beat the outside edge of McCullum's bat in the first over of the day and referred his appeal for lbw against McCullum to the television umpire in the fifth over when he was 16 not out.