Zimbabwe fight back after batting collapse against West Indies
Zimbabwe – 115 all out in 40.5 overs (Innocent Kaia 38, Donald Tiripano 23*, Craig Ervine 22; Gudakesh Motie 7/37, Jason Holder 2/18, Alzarri Joseph 1/29)
West Indies – 133-4 in 41 overs (Raymon Reifer 53, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 36, Jermaine Blackwood 22; Brandon Mavuta 2/24, Wellington Masakadza 1/32)
Day 1 – Stumps: West Indies lead by 18 runs
After collapsing to 115 all out, Zimbabwe fought back to finish the first day of the second Test against the West Indies in an encouraging position at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Sunday.
By the close of play, the tourists had replied with a score of 133 for four wickets, with Raymon Reifer hitting a fifty.
Zimbabwe planned to make two changes to their team for the first Test, replacing Brad Evans and Richard Ngarava with Donald Tiripano and Tanaka Chivanga.
However, they were forced to make a third change to their side when Gary Ballance withdrew with a migraine problem, and Milton Shumba was hurriedly brought into the team.
With Sean Williams injured and Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl allowed to follow other options, this was another serious blow to Zimbabwe’s batting strength.
Shannon Gabriel came into the West Indies team in place of Kemar Roach.
Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat, with Innocent Kaia and Tanu Makoni opening the batting.
Kaia soon had the scoring under way with some fluent strokes, but Makoni was unable to score off 24 balls before he was brilliantly caught by Joshua da Silva, the wicket-keeper, diving to hold a low edge off Alzarri Joseph with 16 runs on the board.
Kaia continued to score well, and Chamu Chibhabha hit two successive deliveries from the left-arm spinner Gudakesh Modie for four.
Chibhabha had 10 when he was caught at backward point off a leading edge to make the score 48 for two.
Kaia scored 38 in fine style off 52 balls out of 49 before he was caught at first slip off Jason Holder, having done his best to give his team a good start.
Craig Ervine hit a couple of good fours, but at 64 Motie picked up his first wicket, having Shumba caught at short leg for three.
Tafadzwa Tsiga had not scored when he skyed a catch to cover off a Motie delivery – 68 for five.
Zimbabwe went in to lunch at 70 for five wickets, with Ervine on 18 and Donald Tiripano yet to score.
Afterwards Ervine scored only four more runs before he attempted to slog-sweep a spinning delivery from Motie across the line and missed, to be given out lbw.
Wellington Masakadza scored only a single before, in Motie’s next over, he tickled a catch to leg slip, while Brandon Mavuta also had only one before he went for a wild slog and was caught at slip.
Victor Nyauchi scored only two before he became Motie’s fifth victim, bowled by a yorker, and Zimbabwe were facing disaster at 89 for nine.
Tiripano, however, was putting up a good fight, and Chivanga, the last man in, scored his first runs in Test cricket by smashing a six back over Motie’s head.
At least the score passed 100, and reached 115 after the second-highest partnership of the innings before Chivanga backed away to hit at a ball from Modie and was bowled for his six to end the innings.
Tiripano had played very well for his 23 not out, the second-highest score of the innings.
Motie finished with the excellent bowling figures of seven wickets for only 37 runs.
The innings lasted only 40.5 overs.
When the West Indies batted, Masakadza opened the bowling with Nyauchi, and soon brought Zimbabwe some relief by dismissing Kraigg Brathwaite for the third time in succession.
He bowled a slightly faster arm ball that kept low off the pitch and trapped Brathwaite lbw on the back foot for seven, with the score on 13.
Tea was taken at 21 for one, with Tagenarine Chanderpaul on 14 and Raymon Reifer yet to score.
The pair continued well after lunch, and seemed settled in for a major partnership, as six bowlers were used to try to separate them.
This finally came when the left-handed Chanderpaul, on 36, swept at a ball from Mavuta and skyed a catch to short fine leg, where Tiripano completed the catch – 87 for two.
Another good partnership developed as Jermaine Blackwell joined Reifer and they took the score ahead of the Zimbabwe score to 117 before disaster struck them.
Reifer on 53 looked for a quick but probably safe single near Chivanga at mid-on, but Blackwell failed to respond, and Chivanga was able to return the ball to the keeper for Reifer to be run out.
Perhaps unsettled by this, two overs later Blackwell hammered a long hop from Mavuta straight to Nyauchi at mid-on to be out caught for 22, rendering the West Indies 125 for four.
A few minutes later play closed for the day, with the tourists’ score 133 for four wickets – Kyle Mayers with eight and Roston Chase with five were the batters still at the crease.