Zimbabwe fall to West Indies despite Ervine’s fighting innings
Despite a fighting knock of 72 by the captain Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe’s batting collapsed in their second innings of the second Test match against the West Indies at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Tuesday as they went down by an innings and four runs in three days.
After much overnight rain, play could not start until 11.30am, when the visitors continued their first innings from 290 for eight wickets.
They lost a wicket from the first ball of the day, as Jason Holder, on three, flashed at a ball from Victor Nyauchi outside his off stump and edged a catch to the keeper, Tafadzwa Tsiga.
Gudakesh Motie’s policy was to take a full hit at virtually every ball, and Tanaka Chivanga thought he had taken his first Test wicket when the batter also edged a ball to the keeper, only for a no-ball to be called.
That enabled Nyauchi to complete his first five-wicket haul in Test matches, as Motie pulled a short delivery to deep midwicket, where Brandon Mavuta ran to take a good catch.
Motie made 12 and the West Indies were all out for 292, a lead of 177 on the first innings.
Nyauchi took the bowling honours as he picked up the last five wickets for 56 runs, while Mavuta had three for 73.
Zimbabwe’s first task was obviously to wipe out their deficit of 177 and avoid an innings defeat.
They made a shaky start again in their second innings, as Tanu Makoni (1) went after a ball from Alzarri Joseph outside his off stump and edged it to the keeper, while Chamu Chibhabha (1) played a delivery from Holder on to his stumps as he attempted a defensive stroke.
Two wickets were down for 15, but Innocent Kaia was in fine batting form, and Ervine on joining him played with strict defence.
They took Zimbabwe to 46 for two wickets at lunch, of which Kaia had scored 40.
Soon after the break Kaia went for 43 off 57 balls, trying to sweep a ball from Motie outside his off stump and edging a juggled catch to the keeper – 56 for three.
Milton Shumba laboured to score seven runs off 43 balls, but then leapt down the pitch to aim a drive at a ball from Motie that found the gap between bat and pad to bowl him out and make the score 86 for four.
The middle order was now beginning to crumble, as at 102 Tafadzwa Tsiga (2) tried to sweep a straight ball from Motie and only helped it on to his stumps.
Donald Tiripano was beaten and bowled second ball by a delivery from Shannon Gabriel that came back and kept rather low, while Wellington Masakadza (7) was caught at short leg off Motie to make the score 132 for seven.
Ervine was playing a lone hand at the other end, rarely in trouble with the bowling, and he reached a fine fifty just before Masakadza was out.
Mavuta hung on with Ervine until the tea interval, when the score was 158 for seven wickets – Ervine had 69 and Mavuta nine, and Zimbabwe needed another 19 runs to save the innings defeat.
Afterwards Mavuta played a couple of profitable strokes, but was quickly caught at short leg off Roston Chase for 16 – only the third batter in the side to reach double figures – at 166 for eight.
At 170, though, disaster struck, as Ervine, after playing a fine innings of 72, played across a ball from Motie that spun in sharply to him and trapped him lbw.
He scored his runs off 105 balls and hit four fours.
Chivanga hit a three, but then Nyauchi lost his wicket for two while attempting sortie down the pitch to Motie, giving the wicket-keeper an easy stumping.
Zimbabwe were all out for 173, and thus gave the West Indies victory by an innings and four runs.
Motie took six wickets for 62 runs, giving him the outstanding match figures of 13 wickets for 99 runs.