The Sunday News
Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
WEST Indies are in firm control of proceedings after day one of the three-day warm cricket match against Zimbabwe XI at Bulawayo Athletic Club yesterday.
At the close of the opening day’s proceedings, the Windies were on 331/5 in 90 overs. Batting first after losing the toss, the Windies side showed dominance in the match with the bat courtesy of an unbeaten Kraigg Brathwaite century before he retired hurt. Two Windies players missed out on half centuries by just four runs.
The Windies skipper, Brathwaite who made the International Cricket Council (ICC) scored 116 runs off 140 balls before he left the field because of injury. His opening partner, Tagenarine Chanderpaul fell four runs short of a half century on a 134 balls 46 runs.
Kyle Mayers also fell four runs short of his milestone on 46 runs as well just like Chanderpaul. Devon Thomas ended day one on an unbeaten 42 runs and was with Joshua da Silva in the middle at stumps. Tanaka Chivanga, Donald Tiripano, Wessly Madhevere, Priviledge Chesa and Milton Shumba all took one wicket each for Zimbabwe XI as the bowlers toiled through day one.
Zimbabwe and West Indies are set to face off in a Test match for the first time since 2017 at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo starting from 4-16 February. The Chevrons have never won a five-day contest against the Caribbean side having played 10 matches before. West Indies have won seven of the matches whilst three were draws.
Zimbabwe will be without the services of Sikandar Raza who was allowed to go and play franchise cricket in the International League T20 (ILT20) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the team captain Sean Williams who got injured during the white ball series against Ireland in Harare. Also absent will be all-rounder Ryan Burl who has gone back to Bangladesh to play in the Bangladesh Premier League where he turns out for the Sylhet Strikers.
The first match between the two sides is set for 4-8 February and the second is scheduled for 12-16 of the same month at the same venue, Queens Sports Club.
Zimbabwe coach, Dave Houghton, who spent a better part of yesterday at BAC keeping an eye on the warm up match is pondering his options for the Test series. Chances are high there will be a number of debutants and some recalls when Zimbabwe square off against West Indies. — Follow on Twitter @brandon_malvin