BULAWAYO – Things are not looking rosy for the hosts after the West Indies piled more runs on the third day of the first Test with Kraigg Brathwaite’s 86 and Roston Chase’s unbeaten 91 giving them a huge lead of 429 runs.
At the end of play yesterday, West Indies were on 369 for 8 with Chase still on the crease and very much likely to reach his fourth Test century when play resumes this morning.
Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach are still yet to bat for the tourists.
The day begun with Brathwaite on 38 and Kyle Hope on 32 while the score was 88 for one.
Where Brathwaite’s batting in the morning was doggedly purposeful, Chase’s in the afternoon was enterprising and, at times, adventurous.
Marshalling the lower order, he was in sight of a Test hundred when Bishoo’s dismissal, six short of a maiden first-class half-century, brought the day to a close.
Returning quick Kyle Jarvis got the first breakthrough for Zimbabwe when he trapped Hope LBW after 44,4 overs.
The West Indies top order batsman had added only 11 runs before his dismissal.
Brathwaite was next to go when he was also adjudged LBW with Sikandar Raza getting the wicket.
The Windies opener had, however, punished the Zimbabwe bowlers and was just 14 runs shy off his seventh Test ton.
Jarvis got his second wicket of the day when Shai Hope (44) was also trapped LBW.
Sean Williams claimed the wickets of Jarmaine Blackwood (3) and Shane Dowrich (12) as the Zimbabwe bowlers enjoyed a productive morning session.
However, after the lunch break, the Zimbabwe bowlers toiled in the heat as they struggled to make any inroads in the tourist’s middle order.
In the last session of the day, Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer dismissed Jason Holder for 24.
Cremer got his second wicket of the day when he dismissed Devendra Bishoo, who managed to post 44 runs, with the last ball before stumps.
With two full days remaining in the Test match, West Indies are set for a huge win and Zimbabwe have a mountain to climb.
Match summary: West Indies 219 and 369 for 8 (Chase 91*, Brathwaite 86, Cremer 3-111, Jarvis 2-66) lead Zimbabwe 159 by 429 runs.