Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu was relieved to see his team demonstrate fighting qualities in a first innings total of 231 against New Zealand.
Taibu's gritty innings featured 11 fours and a six
Following their scores of 59 and 99 in an innings defeat at Harare, they struggles again early on at 7-3.
But Taibu led the way with 76 and said: "The most important thing is that it sends a message to our dressing room that we can bat for a long period.
"The guys went out to bat positively, they weren't fearful like in Harare."
Taibu was annoyed with himself when he became the eighth wicket to fall, holing out to mid-wicket off Shane Bond.
"I took it on myself to take the game to New Zealand," he said. "My head dropped then because I was looking to bat with the rest of the tail."
Bond, in only his 12th Test following a succession of long-term injuries, beat Chris Martin's record to become the quickest New Zealander to 50 Test wickets.
"There were nine overs of swing in the morning, and after that it was hard work," Bond said of the flat wicket.
"It's drier here than in Harare and tougher physically, and we made more errors in the last few overs."
He revealed that he had made some changes to his express pace action on his return from a two-year absence because of stress fractures.
"I've toned down the pace a little to get more control, and I've had some success," he said. "It feels fantastic to be back."