BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, CMC – Kieran Powell and Kyle Hope got into gear with half-centuries, as West Indies had to settle for a draw with Zimbabwe “A” in their three-day, tour match yesterday.
Powell hit the top score of 77 and Hope made 61 – before they both retired – to allow the Windies to declare their second innings on 263 for five on the final day of the match at the Bulawayo Athletic Club.
Shimron Hetmyer gave the selectors a gentle nudge with 48, wicketkeeper/ batsman Shane Dowrich battled for 37 not out and Jermaine Blackwood added 25, as they tried to gain valuable match practice in the only contest on the visitors’ schedule prior to the first Test against the hosts’ national side, starting on Saturday at the Queen’s Sports Club.
The West Indies bowlers also got a chance for a final run-out and reduced the “A” Team to 70 for four in their second innings, as they chased a highly improbable victory target of 457.
Powell and Hope knuckled down for most of the morning period, after the Windies started the day on 74 for one.
They put on 126 for second wicket with little trouble before they both retired in the second hour of the day to offer the remaining batsman a final chance to get in their eyes.
A fifth-wicket stand of 84 between Hetmyer and the embattled Dowrich increased the scoring rate and allowed the Caribbean side time in the final session to give their bowlers another spell in the middle.
Shannon Gabriel, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, left-arm fast-medium bowler Raymon Reifer and Miguel Cummins each took one wicket to sign off the game with a bit of confidence, as they seek to keep Zimbabwe waiting for their first Test victory in four years.