The visitors maintained control of the second test in Bulawayo despite an impressive 5-star showing by spin bowler Sikandar Raza on day three at the Queens Sports club.
By Carlo Chikomba
A late resurgence by Dowrich (75) and Holder (71) for the eight-wicket gave the West Indies an unlikely 48-run lead, with the hosts at some point having looked like wrapping up the innings with relative ease.
Sikandar Raza tore apart the Windies batsmen to register his first ever five-wicket haul in first class cricket but even that wasn’t quite enough to stop the Caribbean boys from taking a 48-run lead and maintaining control of the second test.
Starting the day off the back of a decent 78/1, the visitors asserted themselves rather quickly with Kieran Powell and Devendra Bishoo forming a 55-run partnership. But Raza struck to decimate the budding partnership by claiming first Bishoo and then his replacement Kyle Hope.
The Zimbabwean bowlers were causing all sorts of trouble for the visitors and soon enough seamer Chris Mpofu claimed the scalp of Powell (90) as he forced him to play on to gully with the batsmen having been dropped by Cremer on 85.
That left the West Indies looking unsettled on 163/4 but the introduction of Roston Chase gave them a bit of stability as he and Shai Hope set about rebuilding their innings, pushing on to 219.
However, Raza came back on again to extinguish both batsmen, first trapping Chase (32) Ibw before bowling out Hope (40). The in-form Zimbabwean wasn’t quite done yet as he tamed Jermaine Blackwood with an extra bounce at midwicket to record his outstanding five-wicket haul-the first in his career.
On 230/7 the hosts looked very much in control but Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich were having none of it. The pair knuckled down to mount an impressive eight wicket stand of 144 and put the West Indies in pole ahead of the fourth day.
After having worked so hard, the Chevrons’ bowling attack will no doubt be disappointed with how things turned out as they had given the Windies batsmen a torrid time for much of the day.
And the hosts will be hoping to fare better the next day and wrap the West Indies innings early so they can set out to bat early with the intention of getting a better score than their first innings.