Chanderpaul Steals The Show As Zimbabwe Frustrate Tourists (VIDEO)
Openers’ thirst for success sends West Indian Test records tumbling in Bulawayo
Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul hit the record books with their opening wicket stand of 336, yet the West Indies had to settle for a share of the spoils in their rain-affected 1st Test yesterday (8 February).
Despite 99 overs lost to rain, the tourists slowly plodded on at the picturesque Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. The openers notched 221 runs in 89 overs across the first two days on a tricky wicket.
With the dry weather presenting itself on the third day, Braithwaite and Chanderpaul each put on an emphatic display with explosive innings as the Windies declared on 447-6. This was the first time that both West Indian openers each hit more than 150 runs in the same Test innings.
Slow left-armer Wellington Masakadza ended their colossal 336-run partnership by trapping Bajan Braithwaite leg before for 182. This surpassed the previous opening wicket stand of 298, amassed by Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes against England in Antigua 33 years ago.
Braithwaite and Chanderpaul also became the first opening Test pair to bat for more than 100 overs since 2000, when Sri Lanka’s Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya achieved the feat against Pakistan.
Chanderpaul, the son of Guyanese great Shivnarine, carried the bat to the end of the innings for a remarkable unbeaten 207. He added the accolade of becoming only the tenth West Indian to convert a maiden Test century to a Test double ton, which edged him past his father’s highest Test score of 203.
In response, Zimbabwe ended the day on 114-3. They then turned on the style before declaring on 379-9 off just 75 overs, aiming to potentially force a result.
The Windies saw out day four to finish on 21-0, then went for the kill to declare at 203-5 on the final day. The hosts were set an improbable and ambitious total of 272 to win in a minimum of 49 overs.
Spinners Roston Chase and Gudakesh Motie came perilously close to forcing a dramatic finale after the hosts went from 83-2 to 83-4 after 23.2 overs, despite Innocent Kaia and Chamu Chibhabha having notched 47 runs for the second wicket.
But the other five bowlers — Braithwaite, Jason Holder, Joseph, Mayers and Kemar Roach — failed to bag a wicket between them, Jamaica’s Chase finished 2-9 from a dozen overs, while Guyana’s left-armer Motie collected career-best figures of 4-50.
The thorn in the Windies’ side was the resilient innings from debutant wicketkeeper Tafadzwa Tsiga, who scored an unbeaten 24 in a two-hour spell at the crease as Zimbabwe played safely to eke out a draw and finish on 134-6.
Braithwaite conceded: “After losing a whole day [to rain], it was a commendable effort from us to get close to a victory. But Zimbabwe batted very well. Overall, I’m pleased with the team effort.”
The teams return to the same venue for Sunday’s 2nd Test. Although the Windies will be brimming with confidence with the bat, their bowlers need to up the ante if they are to return victorious to the Caribbean.
1st Test | WI drew with Zimbabwe
WI 447-6 declared (143 overs) & 203-5 declared (50 overs)
Zimbabwe 379-9 declared (75 overs) & 134-6 (54 overs)
2nd Test | Zimbabwe v WI
12-16 Feb at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
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