BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, CMC – Captain Jason Holder said West Indies were taking nothing for granted on today’s final day and urged patience from his side as they go in search of victory in the second and final Test against Zimbabwe.
West Indies ended the penultimate day at the Queens Sports Club in control, having reduced the hosts to 140 for four in their second innings – a lead of only 18 runs.
However, though the Windies will be favoured to win the contest, Holder cautioned the Queens track was not one which allowed bowlers to easily get the better of batsmen as it offered little assistance to either the faster bowlers or spinners.
“I think tomorrow’s morning session will be very, very crucial. We just need to break this partnership,” Holder told reporters here yesterday.
“(Sikandar) Raza is playing really well and also PJ Moor. I think if we break this partnership really early tomorrow morning, we could be in with a really good shout of winning the game.
“Having said that, it’s still not a pitch where you can blast out people on and to look for wickets. It’s spinning really slowly for the spinners and for the seamers it’s not really carrying through to the wicketkeeper.”
He continued: “We’ve got to be really, really patient. I think if we use the surface as much as possible I think we will be in with a really good shout of breaking the partnership and then seeing how their lower half goes.”
Holder was one of the stars of the day’s play, striking 110 – his second Test hundred – and adding a record 220 for the eighth wicket with wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich who stroked 103.
Together, they ensured West Indies converted their overnight 374 for seven into 448 all out – a lead of 122 on first innings.
Zimbabwe then slumped to 46 for four before recovering through an unbroken 94-run stand between Raza, unbeaten on 58 and Peter Moor, 39 not out.
Holder was full of praise for seamer Kemar Roach whose two-wicket burst before lunch left Zimbabwe stunned at eight for two at the interval.
“Kemar has done a remarkable job. The seamers who have been successful here really strike with the new ball and Kemar was able to do that for us today,” said Holder.
“And not only with the new ball but coming back with the older ball. He obviously created a lot of pressure but keeping things very, very tight and he’s been outstanding.
“Every time I call on him to come in and run in and give me an effort, he comes and he gives a hundred per cent and that’s all I can ask for as a captain.”
West Indies won the first Test by 117 runs inside four days at the same venue eight days ago.