Daren Ganga says WI missed chance to win the first Test in Zimbabwe 1st Inns – Read Full Story

Zimbabwe survived the loss of first innings centurion Gary Ballance and some testing spin bowling from West Indies duo Gudakesh Motie and Roston Chase to cling on for a draw in the first Test in Bulawayo on Wednesday.

Commentator Former West Indies opening batter Daren Ganga, believed WI missed an opportunity to challenge for an outright win in the first Test in Bulawayo, as the match fizzled out into a draw.

FORMER West Indies opening batter Daren Ganga, currently on commentary duties in Zimbabwe, believed WI missed an opportunity to challenge for an outright win in the first Test in Bulawayo, as the match fizzled out into a draw.

Set 272 to win in a minimum of 49 overs after West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite declared their second innings at 203 for five, Zimbabwe staggered to 134 for six before stumps were drawn.

“There was a big shift in the momentum of the game after the first three days when the West Indies dominated then Zimbabwe flipped the script,” Ganga told Mason and Guest Voice of Barbados programme Tuesday evening.

“Zimbabwe started to resist the West Indies bowlers and they in turn found it difficult to break the partnership and create chances. When it was eventually broken, the chances of the West Indies to enforce the follow-on were already gone.”

The first three innings in the match were all declared with almost 100 overs lost to rain over the first two days.

Earlier, West Indies had declared their first innings at 447/6. Tagenarine Chanderpaul (207*) and skipper Brathwaite (182) played some incredible knocks.

Later, Zimbabwe had declared their first innings at 379/9, with Ballance (137), Kaia (67) and Brandon Mavuta (56) scoring big.

Pacer Alzarri Joseph (3/75) was the leading bowler for the Windies. Motie and Jason Holder took two wickets while Kemar Roach and Braithwaite, the skipper, took a wicket each.

Then, WI declared their second innings at 203/5, with Kyle Mayers (17*) and Joshua Da Silva (9*) unbeaten. They had a lead of 271 runs. Masakadza took 3/71 while Evans finished with figures of 2/41.

He said Zimbabwe had demonstrated significant sensibility in how they approached the latter half of their innings and in making a sporting declaration, even though they failed to make any inroads in the ten remaining overs in the day.

Ganga said the pitch, with no grass on top and only limited slow bounce on offer, was a very placid one and the truncated two days of play didn’t really allow the elements to wear the pitch down,

“so even the spinners had to wait a fairly long time towards the end of day three and the beginning of day four to extract a fair amount of purchase.”

“Yes, there was a fair amount of wear and tear from footmarks but even that didn’t significantly affect the spinners.” Ganga added

Asked if he had made a determination if leg-spinner Mavuta’s five wickets in the first innings were the result of his effectiveness or a case of the WI batters failed to play properly, Ganga said it was a bit of both.

“The clear intent of (Kraigg) Brathwaite and (Tagenarine) Chanderpaul at the start of their innings on the second day ….there was a sense of urgency in the way they batted,” Ganga assessed.

“…Mayers at three and Reifer at four then started showing attacking intent. Because of the position the West Indies were in, it allowed all batters who came after to create the opportunity to be a little more enterprising and adventurous with their strokeplay.”

He added West Indies would have had a target in mind to make the declaration (yesterday).

“So as much as I say there was a bit of a collapse, there was never a case of the West Indies being in crisis batting first and credit must be given to Mavuta.” he concluded

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