The Report by Liam Brickhill in Bulawayo
West Indies tightened their grip on day three in Bulawayo, Kraigg Brathwaite‘s 86 and Roston Chase‘s unbeaten 91 forming the backbone of their 369 for 8. With the Hope brothers and Devendra Bishoo also chipping in with handy runs, West Indies extended their lead to 429 runs by stumps. With two full days remaining, Zimbabwe have a mountain to climb.
Where Brathwaite’s batting in the morning was doggedly purposeful, Chase’s in the afternoon was enterprising and, at times, adventurous. Marshalling the lower order, he was in sight of a Test hundred when Bishoo’s dismissal, six short of a maiden first-class half-century, brought the day to a close.
It was apparent first thing this morning, with reverse swing, spin and inconsistent bounce available for the bowlers, that batting would not be easy. But Brathwaite soaked up the early pressure, and the patience exhibited by West Indies’ top order stood in stark contrast to Zimbabwe’s jittery effort on Sunday.
West Indies may have had cause for some nerves early on as Sean Williams and Kyle Jarvis beat Brathwaite’s outside edge. Jarvis’ fourth delivery of the day elicited a clear puff of dust as it hit the deck, scooting through at shin height, and was a sign of the increasing mischief in this pitch. Yet Zimbabwe did not use the conditions, or Jarvis’ early dismissal of Kyle Hope with an indipper, as well as they could have.
But with two full days remaining in the Test match, West Indies are set up for a huge win and Zimbabwe have a mountain to climb.
Summarized scores: Stumps-day three: West Indies 219 and 369 for 8 (Chase 91*, Brathwaite 86, Cremer 3-111, Jarvis 2-66) lead Zimbabwe 159 by 429 runs