BULAWAYO (AP): Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie’s six wickets helped West Indies defeat Zimbabwe by an innings and four runs inside three days to clinch the two-match test series 1-0 Tuesday.
Motie, who took seven wickets in Zimbabwe’s first innings, was again the chief tormentor with 6-62 as the hosts collapsed to 173 all out in a wobbly effort to make West Indies bat again. The first test ended in a draw last week. West Indies put up a lead of 177 runs at the Queens Sports Club after Zimbabwe had been skittled for 115 before the Caribbean side finished 292 all out on day three.
The touring side added just two runs to its overnight score, allowing Zimbabwe seamer Victor Nyauchi (5-56) to remove Jason Holder (3) and Gudakesh Motie for 12 to complete his maiden test cricket five-for. Roston Chase (70) held together West Indies’ innings with a well measured knock to put the tourists in command on the second day.
Right-hander Chase had put on 60 for the fifth wicket with Kyle Mayers (30), and then shared a partnership of 85 for the sixth wicket alongside wicketkeeper Joshua Silva (44). Raymon Reifer (53) was the other West Indies batsman in the runs with a workmanlike half-century of his own. Zimbabwe was then unable to make West Indies bat again, falling four runs short of the target to bring the West Indies back to the crease.
West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said the success in Zimbabwe is crucial for momentum when his team crosses into South Africa for a multiple format tour, beginning with two tests starting on Feb. 28 at SuperSport Park. “It’s a good feeling, I think winning any game is always a habit, winning is a habit,” Brathwaite told reporters. “So this is very important. It will be a tougher South Africa team, and we will see when we get there. … The more test cricket you play, the better. It’s good to have these two back-to-back series, we don’t take it lightly.”
Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe’s stand-in captain, acknowledged it was frustrating that Zimbabwe’s in-form players haven’t been able to convert their promising starts to put the African side in good positions. Ervine himself top-scored with 72 for Zimbabwe in a relatively comfortable innings before being trapped lbw by Motie.
The second highest scorer, opener Innocent Kaia (43) was out when he had looked well set, faintly edging to the keeper a Motie delivery that moved through the air. “It could be a number of factors, it could be a question of lack of application,” Ervine said. “And as you know in test cricket, 50s, 60s don’t win you matches.
And as you saw Gary (Ballance) in that first test, getting a big hundred. Those hundreds make a big difference. That partnership between himself and Brandon Mavuta (who scored a maiden half-century) got us back into the game. So guys really need to work on their application.”