ZIM v WI, 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Masakadza's century keeps Zimbabwe afloat

ZIM v WI, 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Masakadza’s century keeps Zimbabwe afloat

Whilst the other batsmen kept tottering, Masakadza kept batting as though he was existing on another planet.

Hamilton Masakadza hits his 5th Test century
Hamilton Masakadza hits his 5th Test century. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rain gods didn’t allow 90 overs of cricket, but Zimbabwe just about managed to stay afloat with a brilliant century from Hamilton Masakadza. The veteran played some delightful shots and was the lone warrior for the hosts on day 1. Around 29 overs got wasted on the first day at Bulawayo, but neither sides have the edge as of now.

Windies fast bowlers bowled incredibly well in the first few overs and got great assistance from the track. The new ball was definitely troubling Solomon Mire and Masakadza and the former didn’t stick on for a long time. Kemar Roach managed to dismiss Mire for the third successive time in the series. A tentative push off a full-length delivery got the outside edge and landed straight in the keeper’s gloves.

Shannon Gabriel is a much-improved bowler than he was when he made his debut. He regularly kept clocking speeds above 145 and was giving a rough time to the batsmen. His delivery to dismiss Craig Ervine was one of the “Wow moments” of the day and a testament to how brilliant he is currently. The middle stump was broken and that little zip off the deck did a great damage.

Brendan Taylor’s wicket in the 10th over just intensified their agony. The experienced campaigner saw his stumps get shattered and the hosts were down and out at 14/3. Taylor was caught in two minds and in the final moment, he decided to defend the ball and eventually dragged the cherry on to the stumps.

High-class batting from Masakadza

Whilst the other batsmen kept tottering, Masakadza kept batting as though he was existing on another planet. He kept playing some amazing shots on the offside and owned the offside region. The cut shots he played entertained one and all and the best part about his innings was he didn’t back off when there was an opportunity.

He raced off to a brilliant half-century but didn’t get any decent support at the other end initially. But Peter Moor, who was roped in in place of Chakabva, made a significant contribution. He stuck in at the other end whilst Masakadza kept going all guns blazing. Moor’s second-fiddle helped them get out of the initial trauma and they started building a decent partnership.

Moor mostly kept rotating the strike and though he did stay put for a long period of time, he got to his fifty in some style with a boundary off Blackwood. The duo completed the hundred run stand and were nearing the 150-run stand, but Roston Chase provided a huge breakthrough for the Caribbean side. Moor saw his stumps get disturbed, but he contributed a crucial 52 off 155 balls.

Hamilton Masakadza got to one of the finest hundreds of his career just after the partnership came to an end. The way he played completely against the run of play was simply outstanding and he remained unbeaten on 101 off 170 balls before the rain washed away the remaining day’s play. Zimbabwe scored 169 for the loss of 4 wickets in 61 overs at stumps.

Brief Scores

Zimbabwe first innings: 169/4 in 61 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 101*, Peter Moor 55; Kemar Roach 2/24)