Lunch Zimbabwe 101 for 3 (Ervine 27*, Williams 2*, Bishoo 2-37) trail West Indies 219 (Hope 90*, Powell 56, Cremer 4-64, Williams 3-20) by 123 runs
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Devendra Bishoo lifted West Indies after a quiet first hour © WICB Media/Brooks LaTouche Photography Ltd
Zimbabwe made steady progress towards West Indies’ first innings total on the second morning at Queens Sports Club, but a productive spell from legspinner Devendra Bishoo lifted the visitors.
Zimbabwe lost an adventurous Solomon Mire inside the first hour, Bishoo then dealt a double-blow with the dismissals of Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor, in his comeback innings, to halt a brief recovery. Craig Ervine and Sean Williams remained firm, however, and Zimbabwe went to lunch at 101 for 3.
Mire brought some positivity towards stumps on Saturday. Today, however, it was Masakadza who seized the early initiative. Mire’s scoring shots tended to go behind square, while Masakadza seemed to have a little more time against the pace of Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel. He got off the mark with a swatted pull to midwicket off Roach’s second ball, and repeated the stroke a couple of overs later as Zimbabwe chugged along gamely.
While he was given a hurry-up by Gabriel, it was a Roach slower ball that eventually got Mire. After a couple of streaky shots, his eyes lit up at a looping half volley in the seventh over of the morning. A slightly frustrated stroke arced high into the bright, blue sky but Mire couldn’t find the distance to get it past Kraigg Brathwaite, who was perfectly positioned at deep midwicket. Zimbabwe were 44 for 1.
Ervine arrived in no hurry at all, taking 19 deliveries to get off the mark, but the wicket did nothing to slow Masakadza down. Bishoo’s first ball of the day was muscled way over long on for six, and when Ervine also got going with a series of flicks and sweeps off the same bowler, it appeared as if Zimbabwe were in control.
When Bishoo settled, however, the spinning ball helped West Indies make further inroads. Masakadza leaned forward into a legbreak, but could not smother the turn and feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich. Taylor’s second coming then lasted all of seven deliveries before he reverse swept Bishoo into Jermaine Blackwood’s hands at slip, the fielder having moved in anticipation of the stroke.
With his dismissal Zimbabwe slipped to 93 for 3. Williams then enduring a working-over against the pace of Gabriel before the lunch interval arrived with the innings in the balance.
Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo