The Caribbean boys overcame the hosts by 117 runs to claim a 1-0 advantage in the first of the two test series encounters at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Tuesday.
By Sportbrief Reporter
The visitors star bowler, Devendra Bishoo, was at it again on Tuesday as he wreaked havoc over the Chevrons batsmen for the second time in the match, finishing with impressive figures of 4 for 105 in the innings – and 9 for 184 in the match – as West Indies claimed pole position with a 117-run win on day four at Queens Sports Club.
The hosts began their innings with a mountain to climb, needing to chase a mammoth score of 434 to win or survive six sessions to avoid defeat after dismissing the West Indies for 373 runs. And the Chevrons started the match brightly, with Solomon Mire and Hamilton Masakadza putting up 99 runs for the first wicket.
Masakadza raced to fifty runs from 87 deliveries to get his first half century at this ground but was removed soon afterwards as he was caught by Shai Hope at short leg off the bowling of Brathwaite.
With that, the hosts were 99 for 1, and that soon became 109 for 2 when Mire couldn’t quite get his bat down on a Roach yorker in time and was bowled for 47.
His dismissal brought former skipper Brendan Taylor to the crease and the former skipper looked to be in better form than the one he has displayed in the previous innings. He and Ervine looked to build up on a promising partnership but those hopes were soon cut short.
Ervine was dismissed when he played around a legbreak from Bishoo to be lbw for 18 with the hosts on 141 for 3. Zimbabwe called a review attempting to reverse that decision, but to no success and Ervine departed.
Taylor was in form with the bat, but the wickets kept tumbling around him with Williams, Razza, Waller and Chakabva all perishing without being able to form much of a partnership with the veteran.
Eventually, Taylor soon followed suit as he committed Brathwaite to run himself out for 73. When Chase held onto a return catch from Chakabva and Bishoo also induced a caught-and-bowled to get rid of Cremer with the new ball, Zimbabwe were 263 for 9 and the match seemed, for all intents and purposes, over.
But an unlikely duo of Chris Mpofu and Kyle Jarvis vigilantly led a late resistance for the last wicket stand. Matching each other stroke for stroke, their devil-may-care batting provided the small crowd with some wonderful entertainment as they loudly cheered the pair on.
Mpofu, in particular, spurred on by his home-town crowd reached a career-best 33 during an astonishing last wicket stand of 53. When he was caught at long on attempting another big hit, West Indies wrapped up the victory by 117 runs.
The Chevrons will have much more work to do when they play the second and final test of the series beginning on Sunday and will have to pull up their socks if they are to draw level with the visitors.