ZIM v WI, 2nd Test, Day 4 Review: Windies have the advantage but the hosts might sneak a draw
Zimbabwe finished at 140 for the loss of four and had a slender 18-run second innings lead at stumps.
Updated - Nov 1, 2017 9:34 pm
After Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich completed their centuries, Windies somehow crawled close to 450-mark and gained an 18-run lead. Their fast bowlers gave them a brilliant start and it seemed like a result would still be possible with the time running out. But Zimbabwe, as they’ve done earlier in the series, managed to stay alive thanks to a brilliant exhibition from their middle order.
Rewinding to the beginning of the day, Dowrich and Holder picked up exactly where they left and they batted a lot freely than yesterday. There was this confidence riding in them which was palpable with the shots they were playing and though runs didn’t come thick and fast, the bowlers didn’t exactly trouble the Caribbean batters.
After working hard for almost 70 overs in the middle, first, it was the skipper Holder who got to his hundred with a boundary off Tendai Chisoro. His partner said I could do a lot better than that and hit a six to get to three figures. Both the players added a sensational double century stand which helped them cross 400.
Wickets fell in quick succession post then. Chisoro first removed Dowrich by leaving him in no man’s land in front of the stumps and the umpire had no problem adjudging him LBW. He was dismissed after scoring 103 off 232 balls. In Chisoro’s next over, Jason Holder’s stumps got shattered and he walked back after scoring 110 off 198 balls.
It didn’t take an awful lot of time for the bowlers to clean up the remaining two wickets. Windies were bowled out for 448 in their first innings, earning a 122-run lead completely out of the blue.
Raza and Moor save the sinking ship
Zimbabwe was off to a disastrous start with the top order faltering. Hamilton Masakadza, after scoring one of the finest centuries by a Zimbabwean ever in the first innings, was dismissed very early. Kemar Roach has been in terrific nick ever since he came back and he was the catalyst behind Windies racing off to a great start.
After sending Masakadza’s stumps for a long ride, he dismissed the struggling opener Solomon Mire in his very next over. Shannon Gabriel was never going to stay afar and he too chipped in with a crucial wicket. Brendan Taylor was trapped in front of the pads and almost immediately, Craig Ervine loses his shape whilst tackling Devendra Bishoo and saw his stumps get dismantled.
It was the worst possible start one could’ve asked for and Windies pretty much looked the favorites to pull off a result. But Sikandar Raza, after scoring a brilliant 80 in the first innings and picking 5 wickets with the ball, was still hungry to do something for his side. He stuck in the crease stubbornly with Peter Moor and the next wicket never came for the Windies on day 4.
Moor was into an all-out defensive approach, whilst Raza took his chances whenever there was a loosener. Raza completed a spectacular half-century and became the first Zimbabwean player to achieve two fifties and a five-fer in the same Test match. The Windies struggled hard in the next 44 overs but failed to pick up a wicket.
Zimbabwe finished at 140 for the loss of four and had a slender 18-run second innings lead. Sikandar Raza remained unbeaten on 58 whilst Moor is battling hard on 39 off 152 balls. For the Windies, who are the only side who can achieve a result from here, have to pick up early wickets to clean-sweep the series.
Zimbabwe first innings: 326 all out in 109.1 overs
Windies first innings: 448 all out in 178.2 overs (Jason Holder 110, Shane Dowrich 103, Kieran Powell 90; Sikandar Raza 5/99)
Zimbabwe second innings: 140/4 in 67 overs (Sikandar Raza 58*, Peter Moor 39*; Kemar Roach 2/14)