ZIM v WI, 1st Test, Day 4 Review: Hosts fight hard but Windies pull off a thrilling win

ZIM v WI, 1st Test, Day 4 Review: Hosts fight hard but Windies pull off a thrilling win

The effort from the Zimbabwe was appreciable, but they fell 117 runs short of their target and took a 1-0 lead in the series. 

West Indies
West Indies. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Zimbabwe managed to drag the Windies and made them work hard, but eventually, the latter managed to script a thrilling win at Bulawayo. Devendra Bishoo’s spectacular performance in the final session ensured the game didn’t get to the final day. The effort from the hosts was appreciable, but they fell 117 runs short of their target and took a 1-0 lead in the series.

Resuming day 4 at 369 for the loss of eight wickets, Windies managed to add just 4 runs to their overnight total. Roston Chase failed to grab a well-deserved hundred and finished with a well compiled 95 off 139 balls. They got bowled out for 373 in their second innings, which meant Zimbabwe needed a massive 434 to win the Test match.

The target was way out of reach and the events which were going to turn out were predictable. Yet, Zimbabwe got off to a great start with Solomon Mire and Hamilton Masakadza establishing a brilliant opening stand. They played sensible cricket, realizing they had a lot of time left in the game. They made the bowlers work really hard and gave nothing away.

Whilst Mire picked up a lot of ones and twos, Masakadza dealt mostly in boundaries. He got to his fifty soon and the partnership was nearing 100. Yet, Windies’ resistance paid off as they finally got the breakthrough they were battling for as Masakadza fell with the scoreboard reading 99.

It was the part-time bowler Kraigg Brathwaite provided thw opening for his side completely out of the blue. Almost immediately, Solomon Mire lost his composure and fell just short of his half-century. His stumps got shattered with an absolute screamer from Kemar Roach and the pressure kept mounting on the hosts.

Brendan Taylor shines but receives no good support

On his comeback, Brendan Taylor proved he still has a lot to offer for his national side. The 31-year-old failed to do anything significant in the first innings, but he made up for it with a fighting half-century in the second innings. Taylor played some handsome shots off the spinners and was in a mood to rake up something big.

Yet, he failed to receive any good support from the other end as wickets kept falling at regular intervals. After Craig Ervine lost his wicket, Bishoo removed Sean Williams in no time. Sikandar Raza and the Taylor got a little partnership going and the latter completed his half-century. It seemed as though they’ll bat the day out and carry forward the game to the next day.

Yet, Raza was dismissed thanks to Bishoo’s wrist spinning brilliance and Malcolm Waller ran himself out after a misunderstanding with Taylor. Ironically, Taylor got dismissed exactly the same way, running himself out attempting a second run which was never there. Lowe order tumbled as they failed to resist the bowlers, but Christopher Mpofu and Kyle Jarvis had other ideas.

Mpofu took on the spinners and spanked 4 fours and a six to register 33 runs in just 25 balls. He and Jarvis added 53 runs for the final wicket and started to build some tension. Yet, in an attempt to clear the long-off boundary, Mpofu was just about caught at the boundary and Windies completed a hard-fought win.

Brief Scores

Windies first innings: 219 all out in 82.5 overs

Zimbabwe first innings: 159 all out in 61.3 overs

Windies second innings: 373 all out in 126 overs (Roston Chase 95, Kraigg Brathwaite 86; Graeme Cremer 4/114)

Zimbabwe second innings: 316 all out in 90.4 overs (Brendan Taylor 73, Hamilton Masakadza 57; Devendra Bishoo 4/105)