BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, CMC – Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo sliced through Zimbabwe to end with a nine-wicket match haul as West Indies easily brushed aside the hosts by 117 runs inside four days to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series here yesterday.
Having set the African side an improbable target of 434 on the turner at Queens Sports Club, the Windies bowled them out for 316 in their second innings, with Bishoo picking up for for 105.
The 31-year-old finished with figures of nine for 184 – the second-best bowling effort of his career – to earn Man-of-the-Match honours. Part-time off-spinner Roston Chase finished with two for 61.
Brendan Taylor had earlier top-scored with 73 while Hamilton Masakadza stroked 57 and opening partner Solomon Mire, 47, as Zimbabwe initially put up resistance.
But after being well placed at lunch on 76 without loss, the hosts surendered four wickets in the second session to lose their way, and the final six wickets clattered in the final session to avoid the match limping into the final day.
There had been disappointment at the start for Chase after the Windies resumed on 369 for eight, as he agonisingly missed out on his fourth Test hundred when he added just four to his overnight 91.
He lost Kemar Roach to the first ball of the day, bowled by leg-spinner Graeme Cremer and then missed a desperate swing at leg-spinner Sean Williams and lost his leg-stump, leaving West Indies all out for 373.
Chase faced 139 deliveries in 3-1/2 hours and counted eight fours and a six.
Graeme Cremer finished with four for 114 while Williams claimed three for 91 and seamer Kyle Jarvis, two for 66.
Masakadza and Mire then made the most of the remainder of the session as they put on a handsome 99 for the first wicket to keep Zimbabwe in the contest.
The right-handed Masakadza struck 10 fours in a 93-ball knock while debutant Mire, also a right-hander, faced seven balls and counted seven fours.
West Indies got the breakthrough in the sixth over after lunch, however, when Masakadza fell to a catch close-in off part-time off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite, and Mire followed eight balls later in the next over, bowled by seamer Roach off his pads.
Craig Ervine (18) and Taylor put on 32 for the third wicket to push Zimbabwe up to 141 for two but Bishoo stuck twice in quick succession to tilt the balance the visitors’ way.
He trapped Ervine plumb lbw and then had William stumped in the third over before tea, as Zimbabwe stumbled to 159 for four at the interval.
Taylor faced 151 balls in just under 3-1/4 hours and struck eight fours while Raza belted two fours and a six off 65 deliveries.
But Bishoo broke the stand on the stroke of the hour, getting Raza to slap an innocuous delivery to Chase at cover and five wickets then tumbled quickly for 44 runs to leave West Indies on the cusp of victory.
That bid was frustrated by number 11 Chris Mpofu who pummeled four fours and a six in a cameo 25-ball 33 as he posted 53 for the last wicket with Jarvis who made an unbeaten 23.
It was Chase who delivered victory for the tourists late in the session, claiming Mpofu’s wicket to a catch in the deep.