Zimbabwe 211 (Mawoyo 50, Samuels 4-13) v
West Indies 18-2 (Jarvis 2-9)
First Test, Barbados, day one
Report by Daniel Grummitt
A double-strike late on the opening day by Kyle Jarvis gave Zimbabwe just a glimmer of hope after a lacklustre display with the bat had seen them bowled out for just 211 on an easy-paced pitch at the Kensington Oval.
Tino Mawoyo had weathered the early storm from the West Indies pace trio of Shannon Gabriel, Tino Best and Kemar Roach, but the middle and lower-order largely gifted their wickets away to the spin pair of Shane Shillingford and, in particular, Marlon Samuels, who ended with career-best figures of four for 13.
Vusi Sibanda didn’t last long first up despite being dropped and was the first man to go after Brendan Taylor had won another toss and elected to bat. He was clean-bowled by a fired-up Roach for 12.
Hamilton Masakadza then joined Mawoyo and the pair fought hard in the face of some fearsome fast-bowling. Roach and Best were fast and on target, while Gabriel, playing his first home Test, was less impressive but his best would come later. Masakadza was struck a blow to the back of the head by Best, who was unlucky not to pick up a wicket during the course of 12 hostile overs, while Mawoyo also took a couple of blows to the body.
Masakadza’s resistance came to and end with the score on 59 courtesy of a stunning one-handed catch in the gully by Marlon Samuels. Both of Zimbabwe’s key players - Masakadza and Taylor - would depart to moments of brilliance from the home side, but the remainder were all at least partly to blame for their own demise.
Taylor’s end came during an outstanding second spell from Gabriel. He maintained the pace from his first spell but bowled straighter and found a little away swing. It was this swing that did for Taylor. Gabriel delivered a ball that looked for most of its journey to be heading onto Taylor’s pads, only for it to swerve at the last moment and clatter in middle-stump, leaving Taylor looking clueless as he aimed to play it through square-leg.
A little earlier Mawoyo’s innings had ended at exactly 50 as he became the first of three catches for Kieran Powell at short-leg and the first of seven wickets to fall to spin - something that hadn’t happened on day one at a Test in Barbados for 50 years.
Shillingford found enough spin to cause problems but it was the bounce that posed the bigger problem to Zimbabwe’s batsmen. Several balls took the shoulder of the bat or the glove and narrowly evaded the close fielders, while his unrelenting accuracy gave little away.
Malcolm Waller’s scratchy innings was ended on nine as a poorly executed sweep found him adjudged leg before, while Regis Chakabva’s long vigil was brought to a close from his 92nd ball via another smart catch from Powell.
Marlon Samuels’ four wickets owed rather more to luck than Shillingford’s. Craig Ervine, retained by Zimbabwe after impressing during the limited-overs series, inexplicably missed a straight ball when well set on 29, while Graeme Cremer, who had looked remarkably accomplished for a Test number eight, top-edged a long hop to Darren Bravo at point.
The last four wickets fell for 15 runs as Kyle Jarvis leg-glanced straight into Powell’s hands and debutant Tendai Chatara, playing in place of the injured Chris Mpofu, skied a ball into the air to end the innings. Samuels was the beneficiary on each occasion and looked decidedly sheepish at his success.
One positive for Zimbabwe of their mini-collapse was that it gave them 11 overs at West Indies’ openers prior to stumps. For a while, Chris Gayle and Powell looked like they would survive comfortably. Jarvis and Chatara were both tidy but unthreatening, with Chatara’s first three overs all maidens.
During Jarvis’ fourth over everything changed. The ball began to swing and he had Powell trapped LBW in a classic piece of right-arm swing bowler to left-handed batsman bowling. He then benefited from a bit of luck to remove night-watchman Kemar Roach. Umpire Bruce Oxenford had miscounted meaning that the seventh over of the innings contained seven balls. Jarvis made the most of it and delivered a full straight away swinger first up, trapping Roach plumb in front.
West Indies were suddenly eight for two and Jarvis was on a hat-trick. Bravo survived that and the rest of the day, but Graeme Cremer did have time to send down an over full of encouragement before stumps were drawn with the home side on 18 for two - Gayle getting into his groove nicely with a brace of sweetly-timed cover drives off Chatara.
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