BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, CMC – Kieran Powell was closing in on his second half-century of the series but opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite fell just before the close, to spoil an otherwise flawless West Indies reply on the second day of the second Test against Zimbabwe here yesterday.
The left-handed Powell was unbeaten on 43 as the Windies reached 78 for one in their first innings at stumps, in response to the hosts’ decent 326 all out at Queens Sports Club.
West Indies appeared set to complete the day without losing a wicket but Brathwaite perished three overs before the close for 32, edging a flat leg-break from Graeme Cremer to Hamilton Masakadza at slip.
Brathwaite faced 160 deliveries and counted two fours, adding 76 for the first wicket with Powell who has so far struck four fours in a 123-ball knock.
West Indies trail by 248 runs heading into today’s third day.
Zimbabwe had earlier rallied to their eventual total after beginning the day on 169 for four, with opener Hamilton Masakadza extending his fifth Test hundred to 147 and Sikandar Raza gathering an invaluable 80.
The pair put on 90 for the fifth wicket which pushed the Zimbabwe total past the 200-run mark and kept West Indies without success in the first hour.
The right-handed Masakadza, on 101 at the start, faced 240 balls in a shade over six hours and counted 16 fours and two sixes.
Raza, meanwhile, gathered his fifth Test half-century, hitting six fours and a six in a knock spanning 147 balls and just over three hours.
Kemar Roach claimed three for 44 while fellow seamer Shannon Gabriel (2-64) and leg-spinner Bishoo (2-82) supported with two wickets apiece.
Following an opening day cut short by rain, Zimbabwe prospered on resumption yesterday, as Masakadza and Raza added a further 59 runs in the first hour after play started half-hour early.
Masakadza drove the first ball of the day from Roach to the cover boundary and collected another boundary off Gabriel with a wristy flick through wide mid-wicket.
Raza, meanwhile, was also positive after resuming on nine, driving part-time off-spinner Roston Chase through cover for four before pulling a full toss from the same bowler a few overs later to the mid-wicket boundary, to raise the team’s 200.
West Indies tasted success for the first time about an hour before lunch when Masakadza top-edged a sweep at Bishoo to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, and Malcolm Waller followed five balls later without scoring, bowled first ball by part-time off-spinner Brathwaite.
Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva perished cheaply for 10, bowled missing a sweep at Bishoo but Raza and captain Graeme Cremer (10) propped up the innings with an eighth wicket partnership of 43, carrying Zimbabwe to 296 at lunch without further loss.
The right-handed Raza raised his half-century in style, belting Bishoo over the ropes at mid-wicket and again attacked the bowler by whipping a full toss to the mid-wicket boundary in the bowler’s following over.
Unbeaten on 68 at the interval, Raza eventually fell in the fifth over following the resumption, edging a defensive push at Gabriel to Kyle Hope at second slip.
His dismissal triggered the collapse of the tail as the last three wickets perished for 16 runs.
ZIMBABWE 1st innings
(overnight 169 for four)
H Masakadza c wkp Dowrich b Bishoo 147
S Mire c wkp Dowrich b Roach 4
C Ervine b Gabriel 0
B Taylor b Roach 1
P Moor b Chase 52
Sikandar Raza c K Hope b Gabriel 80
M Waller b Brathwaite 0
+R Chakabva b Bishoo 10
*A Cremer run out 11
T Chisoro lbw b Roach 9
C Mpofu not out 4
Extras (lb6, nb2) 8
TOTAL (all out, 109.1 overs) 326
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-11, 3-14, 4-156, 5-246, 6-248, 7-267, 8-310, 9-31, 10-326.
Bowling: Gabriel 22-4-64-2, Roach 18.1-5-44-3, Blackwood 4-1-8-0, Holder 16-2-49-0, Bishoo 25-2-82-2, Chase 14-1-50-1, Brathwaite 10-0-23-1.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
K Brathwaite c Masakadza b Cremer 32
K Powell not out 43
D Bishoo not out 0
Extras (b1, lb1) 3
TOTAL (1 wkt, 49 overs) 78
To bat: K Hope, S Hope, R Chase, J Blackwood, +SO Dowrich, *J Holder, K Roach, S Gabriel
Fall of wickets: 1-76.
Bowling: Mpofu 11-5-17-0, Mire 4-2-2-0, Cremer 12-2-31-1, Sikander Raza 13-6-10-0, Chisoro 9-4-15-0.
Position: West Indies trail by 248 runs with nine wickets remaining.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena, Simon Fry; TV – Paul Reiffel.