Bishoo five-for helps West Indies wrest control

The Report by Liam Brickhill in Bulawa

 In a Test match being played in fast-forward mode, 11 wickets fell on the second day at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo as West Indies surged into the ascendancy. Legspinner Devendra Bishoo was the catalyst for the turnaround, scything through Zimbabwe’s top order to finish with 5 for 79.

His first ball of the morning was hit for six, but Bishoo soon found his rhythm. In an unbroken 23-over spell on either side of lunch, he undid all of the hard work done by Zimbabwe’s bowlers, with spin, bounce and accuracy. The hosts were bowled out for 159 during the extended post-lunch session, and by the close West Indies had stretched their lead to 148, with Kraigg Brathwaite and Kyle Hope adding an unbeaten 63 for the second wicket.

For a while, it appeared that Zimbabwe might continue to chug along gamely despite the early loss of Solomon Mire. But once Bishoo settled, West Indies made regular inroads as Zimbabwe lost 9 for 68 from a comfortable 91 for 1.

Hamilton Masakadza, who had muscled Bishoo’s opening delivery over long on for six, could not smother the turn of a fizzing legbreaks and feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich for 42 – the highest score of Zimbabwe’s innings. Brendan Taylor’s second coming then lasted all of seven deliveries before he reverse swept Bishoo into Jermaine Blackwood’s hands at slip, the fielder having moved in anticipation of the stroke.

With his dismissal Zimbabwe slipped to 93 for 3, and Sean Williams endured a working-over against the pace of Shannon Gabriel as the hosts went into the lunch interval without further loss. At that point, the innings – and the match – was still in the balance, but the afternoon belonged entirely to West Indies.

 Summarized scores: Stumps West Indies 219 and 88 for 1 (Brathwaite 38*, Hope 32*) lead Zimbabwe 159 (Masakadza 42, Ervine 39, Bishoo 5-79) by 148 runs

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