West Indies clinched the first test match against Zimbabwe by 117 runs despite some flashes of an attempted spirited fight by the hosts
The Zimbabwe Chevrons could not live up to the morning momentum, collapsing after the lunch break to hand the visitors a 1-nil lead in the two match series underway at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Going to the fourth day, West Indies were on 369 for 8, with the Chevrons trailing by 429 runs.
Zimbabwe started the day brightly in pursuit of the audacious target as captain, Graeme Cremer took the wicket of Kemar roach for a duck with the very first ball of the day.
The West Indies’ innings were to be completed by the dismissal of Roston Chase, who was 5 runs shy of a century after being bowled out by Sean Williams.
Cremer was once again the toast of the Zimbabwean bowlers with figures of 4 for 114, while Sean Williams also continued with his consistency, chipping in with 3 for 91.
The Chevrons then kicked off their second innings with Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire opening in what was to be the highest partnership in the series with 99 runs.
Masakadza was in great form, reaching his first half century in three years before a back pad catch by Shai Hope off the bowling of Kraigg Brathwaite saw him go for 57 runs in the 27th over.
With the wicket at Queens Sports Club starting to have a lot of bounce resulting in a reverse swing, Solomon Mire was to quickly follow him as he was bowled out by Kemar Roach for 47 runs, leaving Zimbabwe at 109 for 2.
When the Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor partnership seemed to stabilise Zimbabwe’s innings, West Indies’ bowling hero, Devendra Bishoo struck, trapping Ervine leg before wicket for 18 runs.
Sean Williams soon followed to the pavilion following some fine stumping action by Shane Dowrich off the spin bowling by Bishoo.
In his second match on his return, Brendan Taylor, who had only managed a single run in the Chevrons’ first innings stabilised the Zimbabwean cause before giving away a century after being needlessly run out for a top score of 73.
Other wickets to fall saw Sikanda Raza Butt out for 30, Malcom Waller run out for 11, Regis Chakabva 1, Graeme Cremer 9, as well as Christopher Mpofu who posted an impressive 33 runs in a record 10th best last wicket partnership with Kyle Jarvis who posted an unbeaten 23.
Devendra Bishoo was once again the peak of the West Indies bowlers with figures of 4 for 105, while RostonCchase was on 2 for 61.
The Chevrons will have to dust themselves and prepare for a better performance in the second test that starts on Sunday.