With a truly dominant performance on the third day, the West Indies reinforced their hold on the Bulawayo Test. They first amassed 447/6 declared before reducing Zimbabwe to 114/3 by Stumps.
The day’s top performer was Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who turned his overnight century into a significant unbroken double hundred. He started the day steadily, which gave Kraigg Brathwaite the opportunity to take over. Together, they accumulated 336 runs for the first wicket. It was the highest opening stand for West Indies in a Test match.
Brathwaite established the tone early by hitting three consecutive boundaries off Ngarava in the third over of the day. Brathwaite scored 182 before being caught lbw by Wellington Masakadza. He pursued Mavuta as well and reached 150 in the spinner’s first over. He was largely responsible for WI’s 153 accumulation during the morning session. On the other hand, Chanderpaul played the perfect foil and carefully selected his deliveries. His first boundary came closer to lunchtime, and he even received a reprieve at 150 when Chibhabha dropped a catch off the bowling of Mavuta at fine leg. As Mavuta missed a good opportunity to make a fast recovery, Brathwaite was also released on 167.
Chanderpaul increased his score in the second session, becoming more assured and focused as the game went on. He smoked Masakadza over mid-off to reach his double tonne with a six while he was on 199*.
Zimbabwe only seemed to be involved in the match during the middle session, after WI lost four wickets in the opening hour while attempting to score quickly. In his subsequent overs, Mavuta struck, removing Riefer and Blackwood. However, Tagenarine continued to score runs and even hit Wellington Masakadza for a six. Roston Chase died while attempting to score quickly, but West Indies’ effort resulted in 61 runs.
With Innocent Kaia even pinching his first Test runs in response, Zimbabwe’s openers made it to Tea unharmed. He continued and made his debut with a final score of 59*. Kaia scored 63 runs for the first wicket with Tanunurwa Makoni before the latter was caught at first slip while attempting to drive an Alzarri Joseph delivery. Gudakesh Motie nicked off Chibhabha, but the major blow came when captain Craig Ervine was bowled by a quick Brathwaite delivery on the stroke of Stumps.
Brief scores: West Indies 447/6 dec/ lead Zimbabwe 114/3 (Kaia 59*; Brathwaite 1-5) by 333 runs (Chanderpaul 207*, Brathwaite 182; Mavuta 5-140).
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