October 22 2017 – ZIMBABWE failed to capitalise on its encouraging opening day as Devendra Bishoo, the leg-spinner, put the West Indies in command of the first Test with his five-wicket haul at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Sunday.
Zimbabwe came into the two-match series strengthened by the return of Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis, and carried the advantage through the first day when it restricted Windies to 219 despite Shai Hope’s unbeaten 90.
But Zimbabwe could only muster a modest 159, losing nine wickets for 68 runs on the second day, after Bishoo ran through its lineup to end with 5/79. Hamilton Masakadza top-scored with 42 off 78 balls.
With Zimbabwe bowled out in just 61.3 overs, Windies began its second innings after tea and reached stumps on 88/1, taking an overall lead of 148. Kraigg Brathwaite led the way with an unbeaten 38, while Kyle Hope made 32 not out in his fourth Test.
After picking up two wickets in the morning session, Bishoo grabbed three more in the second to record his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests.
While the pitch provided assistance to spinners, Zimbabwe’s batsmen were largely responsible for their own downfall.
Resuming the day on 19 without loss, Zimbabwe made a positive start with Masakadza and Solomon Mire taking the side to 44. But an adventurous stroke from Mire allowed Roach to strike, as the debutant was caught on the midwicket boundary for 27.
Masakadza and Craig Ervine (39) dug in as the duo put on 47 for the second wicket, but the former’s departure, caught behind off Bishoo, triggered an alarming collapse, with none of the remaining batsmen crossing 12.
From 91/1, Zimbabwe slipped to 139/7 as Taylor reverse-swept Bishoo to slip and Sikandar Raza holed out to long-off. Sean Williams chased a wide delivery from Roach and was caught behind, before Bishoo completed his five-wicket haul when Regis Chakabva offered a tame catch to backward point.
Jason Holder, the Windies captain, and Roach picked up two scalps apiece while keeping things tight, and Shannon Gabriel finished off the innings with the wicket of Christopher Mpofu at the stoke of tea.
The opening day of the Test saw eight of the 10 Windies wickets fall to spin, with Graeme Cremer, the captain and leg-spinner, leading the way for Zimbabwe with figures of 4/64. – ANA