Zimbabwe totter as Taylor, Ervine fall

Lunch Zimbabwe 8 for 2 (Roach 2-1) and 326 trail West Indies 448 (Holder 110, Dowrich 103, Powell 90, Raza 5-99) by 114 runs
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Record-making contributions from Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich put West Indies in a virtually unassailable position on the fourth morning in Bulawayo. Together they added 212, the most by an eighth-wicket pair for West Indies. Holder’s century was his second in Tests, and the first by a West Indies no. 9, while Dowrich’s joy at reaching his own maiden Test hundred was plainly evident. Left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro eventually removed both men, and Zimbabwe’s marathon in the field finally came to an end half an hour before lunch, when West Indies were bowled out for 448, a lead of 122. Kemar Roach‘s double strike minutes before the interval left Zimbabwe teetering at 8 for 2 with a mountain to climb.

It was apparent early on this morning that this might not be Zimbabwe’s day. In the sixth over of the morning, they missed yet another opportunity to break through when wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva fluffed a tough chance off Graeme Cremer. The edge off a flashing Holder drive might have landed right in Hamilton Masakadza’s lap at slip, but Chakabva went for it and, unfortunately for Zimbabwe, couldn’t hold on.

That wasn’t West Indies’ only slice of luck, but with Holder and Dowrich at the crease they also made their own luck with strokeplay that mixed studied defence with daring attack. The third new ball provided few alarms, and with Zimbabwe quickly reverting to spin both men progressed steadily through the 90s. Holder was first to his ton, crunching Chisoro extravagantly through the covers for his ninth boundary.

Dowrich reached his landmark in even more emphatic style, stepping out to dispatch Cremer high over long off. Holder added another six – his second – as West Indies went on the charge, but the increase in tempo was quickly followed by the end of the innings. Chisoro trapped Dowrich lbw, playing back to one that rushed on, for his maiden Test wicket, and then bowled Holder around his legs. The spinner grabbed a third wicket, removing Kemar Roach lbw, to bring the innings to an end half an hour before lunch.

Not since 1908 have both a Nos. 8 and 9 made centuries in the same innings of a Test. Clem Hill and Roger Hartigan did it for Australia against England at the Adelaide Oval, and Holder and Dowrich repeated that achievement to put their team in a winning position.

That position solidified in the minutes before lunch. Roach, operating from the City End, got the better of Masakadza with a canny piece of Test fast bowling to draw first blood. Masakadza had been content to leave outside off stump, but when Roach went wide on the crease and got the ball to jag in off the seam, his leave allowed the ball to clatter into his off stump. Mire then aimed an ill-judged pull at a length delivery in the final over before lunch, the ball keeping low to strike him in front of middle and leg and a desperate review unable to save him.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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