Cremer registered best figures for Zimbabwe    AFP
Cremer registered best figures for Zimbabwe AFP

With two sessions going their way, Zimbabwe dominated the opening day of the first Test against West Indies. Zimbabwe bowlers bundled their heavyweight opponents for a paltry 219 and then managed not to lose any wicket before stumps, putting up 19 0 for and trailing by 200 runs. Hamilton Masakadza (0*) and Solomon Mire (17*) remained unbeaten, and will resume batting on Day Two.

At the Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo on Saturday, West Indies won the toss and elected to bat. Zimbabwe bagged two early wickets to put West Indies under pressure. Reduced to 65 for 2 at the end of first session, West Indies scripted a commendable comeback, courtesy Kieran Powell and Shai Hope. However, once Powell was dismissed, West Indies failed to put up any further partnership to maintain the flow of run. Zimbabwe started picking up wickets in quick succession and West Indies innings came to an end with 219 on the board.

Kieran Powell, Shai Hope’s fifties guide West Indies to 154-3 before tea, Day 1, 1st Test
Kieran Powell, Shai Hope’s fifties guide West Indies to 154-3 before tea, Day 1, 1st Test

After losing his batting partner early, Powell held fort, building a timely partnership with Shai. Both batsmen scored their individual half-centuries. Powell was dismissed for 56, but Shai stood like a rock, desperate to build another partnership. Roston Chase showed some defence, but he was removed before he could reach the 50-run mark. Batting against Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams, Zimbabwe lower order could do little apart from throwing their wicket to the hosts.

Shai remained unbeaten at 90 as the rest of his teammates were cleaned up by Zimbabwe.

Cremer bowled exceptionally well on the occasion, emerging as Zimbabwe s most successful bowler with his 4 for 64 while Sean Williams bagged 3 wickets.

In the final session of the day, Zimbabwe gave away 65 runs, bagged 7 wickets and scored 19 runs without losing a wicket, making it the game-changing session.

Brief scores

West Indies 219 (Kieran Powell 56, Shai Hope 90*, Roston Chase 31; Graeme Cremer 4 for 64, Sean Williams 3 for 20) lead Zimbabwe 19 for 0 (Hamilton Masakadza 0*, Solomon Mire 17*; Shanon Gabriel 0 for 2) by 200 runs.