West Indies dominance on day two of their four-day match at the Bulawayo Athletic Club yesterday.
Kraigg Brathwaite’s and Joshua Da Silva’s hundred saw West Indies to a massive total before fast bowler Alzarri Joseph struck twice to rattle Zimbabwe XI.
Unbeaten on nine overnight with West Indies on 313 for five, the 24-year-old Da Silva struck exactly 100 to guide the visitors to 517 all out.
All-rounder Roston Chase, battling to remain in the West Indies set-up, hit an important 87, but Devon Thomas added only seven to his overnight 42.
In reply, the hosts crashed to 52 for five before bad weather ended play prematurely; the 26-year-old Joseph snaring two for 12 from four incisive overs.
“It is a decent pitch. Some balls are staying a bit low, but I think the boys really applied themselves and made the most of the opportunity to get into the middle,” said Da Silva.
“It’s always good to score over 500 runs. The goal set out by Kraigg (Brathwaite) was to bat a day-and-a-half and we did that, and Kraigg gave us a target of 450 at the end of the hour after lunch on the second day and we got that as well.
“So I think we ticked all the boxes and hopefully we transfer that to the Test series.”
Heading into day three in the preparation game for next weekend’s start of the opening Test, Zimbabwe XI trail by 465 runs.
West Indies’ start was less than ideal, Thomas perishing in the morning’s seventh over, edging a short ball from seamer Donald Tiripano (2-34) behind.
However, any hopes the hosts entertained of running through West Indies’ lower order were then squashed as Da Silva buckled down in a century stand with Chase.
Da Silva, a compact right-hander, struck 13 fours off 149 balls while Chase scored nine fours and a brace of sixes in a breezy 93-ball knock.
Joseph then knocked over opener Kudzai Maunze without scoring in the second over and then accounted for Joylord Gumbie (11) in the sixth over, to leave the hosts struggling on 12 for two.
Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel all followed up by picking up one wicket each and ending day 02 with 52/5 in the Zimbabwe XI innings.