Windies thoroughly in command

News

Half-centuries from all-rounder Marlon Samuels, wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin and captain Darren Sammy – and three early second-innings wickets – afforded the West Indies a healthy advantage on day two of the first Test against Zimbabwe at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on Wednesday.

Half-centuries from all-rounder Marlon Samuels, wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin and captain Darren Sammy – and three early second-innings wickets – afforded the West Indies a healthy advantage on day-two of the first Test against Zimbabwe at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on Wednesday.

The hosts made 307 in reply to the tourists' mark of 211 all out – largely thanks to a boundary-laden 73 from Sammy. Seamer Kyle Jarvis added three wickets to his initial haul of two to finish with five for 54, but the Windies bowlers also cashed in during a 14-over spell before the close of play.

Two wickets from spinner Shane Shillingford and one from fast bowler Shannon Gabriel left Zimbabwe 41 for three, still 55 adrift. The home side resumed on 18 for two and opener Chris Gayle settled into his work early, stroking the fifth ball of the morning for four and following up with a second boundary off Jarvis.

The left-handed Darren Bravo fell for 11, caught behind off Jarvis, but Samuels was off the mark with a boundary off leg-spinner Graeme Cremer. He and Gayle soon put together a productive sequence of shots – collecting a combined 26 off three overs.

Just as their partnership threatened to explode seamer Tendai Chatara took his first Test wicket, Gayle caught at slip off the glove. Samuels carried on unconcerned at the other end, unleashing a series of boundaries – including a back-to-back four and six off Cremer.

He also took the veteran Hamilton Masakadza for consecutive fours and reached his 50 with his 10th boundary off spinner Ray Price. But he fell two balls before lunch, caught behind off Masakadza, leaving the stalwart Shivnarine Chanderpaul unbeaten on 25.

He managed to add just one after the break, becoming Jarvis' fourth victim when he offered wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva a third catch. Sammy took charge thereafter the break, finding the ropes for the first time from his second ball.

With Ramdin playing a safer hand, Sammy played his shots and was past 20 inside 17 balls. Successive sixes followed from Cremer, with a third coming soon after.

Price had two unsuccessful lbw appeals against Sammy in as many balls, reviewing the latter, and the batsman took advantage with 14 off an abject Cremer over.

There was luck as well – a close run-out and a drop in the deep – and he finally played Masakadza on to his stumps. With a tea total of 265 for seven, Zimbabwe took the final three wickets for 42. Shillingford made just one, tail-ender Tino Best became Jarvis' fifth victim for a robust 24 and Ramdin departed for a low-key 62.

Zimbabwe had an hour to survive and lasted 7.1 overs before losing a first wicket – opener Tino Mawayo held at slip off Gabriel for nine. Shillingford was given two overs and struck in both of them. Masakadza was first to go for one, Sammy again the catcher, before Shillingford completed a caught and bowled to send back opener Vusi Sibanda (15).

Latest