A brilliant spell from spinner Gudakesh Motie helped West Indies earn a draw in the first Test against Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe were set 272 to win with 49 overs left on the final afternoon, but never seriously chased their target and were comfortably placed for the draw on 83-2 in the 23rd over before spin bowlers Gudakesh Motie (4-50) and Roston Chase (2-9) sent late flutters through the home dressing-room.
Wicketkeeper Tafadzwa Tsiga’s 83-ball score of 23 not out helped to frustrate the touring side as the shadows lengthened in the late afternoon.
Both teams agreed on a draw with Zimbabwe 134/6. Tsiga (24*) and Masakadza (0*) were unbeaten.
“After losing a whole day, I think it was a commendable effort from us to get close to a victory, so well done to us,” West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said at the post-match presentation.
“But also Zimbabwe batted very well. I think overall, I’m pleased with the team effort.”
A draw had seemed the most likely result when rain hampered the start of the test with only 89 overs possible on the first two days after West Indies had opted to bat.
West Indies had declared their first innings at 447/6. Tagenarine Chanderpaul (207*) and skipper Brathwaite (182) played some incredible knocks and stitched a massive opening stand of 336 runs, the highest first-wicket stand for the side.
They both overtook the record of legendary Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, who put on 298 runs against England in 1990.
Chanderpaul earned ‘Man of the Match’ for his double ton.
“Yeah it was good get some runs. Once I got in, it was nice. The pitch was spinning a bit so it was good to get some practice coming into the game. [On Brathwaite] He’s a guy who treasures his wicket, he tries to stay on as long as possible. [On his partnership with Brathwaite] Of course, it’s something to cherish, the record, and just hope we can keep going from strength to strength.” Tagenarine Chanderpaul said at the post-match presentation.
If a double century doesn’t get you Man of the Match, nothing else will. 👏
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) February 8, 2023
Zimbabwe replied with 379-9, including an unbeaten 137 on debut from former England left-hander Gary Ballance, before they declared late on day four.
The visitors were 21-0 overnight and on the last day sought to score quickly, declaring on 203-5 after lunch with Raymon Reifer posting 58 and Jermaine Blackwood 57.
Rain briefly delayed Zimbabwe’s second innings before Motie dismissed four of the top five batsmen with his career-best figures in his second test.
West Indies 1st Innings Fall of wickets: 1-336 (Kraigg Brathwaite – 114.1 ov), 2-373 (Kyle Mayers – 123.2 ov), 3-383 (Raymon Reifer – 127.4 ov), 4-389 (Jermaine Blackwood – 129.1 ov), 5-413 (Roston Chase – 133.2 ov), 6-435 (Jason Holder – 141.1 ov)
Zimbabwe 1st Innings Fall of wickets: 1-63 (Tanunurwa Makoni – 26.1 ov), 2-84 (Chamu Chibhabha – 31.5 ov), 3-114 (Craig Ervine – 41.4 ov), 4-128 (Innocent Kaia – 48.3 ov), 5-132 (Tafadzwa Tsiga – 50.6 ov), 6-147 (Brad Evans – 53.5 ov), 7-192 (Wellington Masakadza – 77.3 ov), 8-327 (Brandon Mavuta – 116.2 ov), 9-341 (Victor Nyauchi – 118.2 ov)
West Indies 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-32 (Tagenarine Chanderpaul – 21.6 ov), 2-50 (Kraigg Brathwaite – 26.3 ov), 3-157 (Raymon Reifer – 52.2 ov), 4-174 (Jermaine Blackwood – 56.2 ov), 5-180 (Roston Chase – 57.6 ov)
Zimbabwe 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Tanunurwa Makoni – 3.4 ov), 2-61 (Innocent Kaia – 17.4 ov), 3-83 (Chamu Chibhabha – 22.1 ov), 4-83 (Craig Ervine – 23.2 ov), 5-119 (Gary Ballance – 42.2 ov), 6-120 (Brad Evans – 43.4 ov)