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West Indies tighten grip on first Zimbabwe Test

23 Oktober 2017 17:58

Victory in the first Test appears inevitable for West Indies after the tourists built a commanding 429-run lead against Zimbabwe by stumps on day three in Bulawayo.

The hosts were all out for just 159 in reply to the Windies' first-innings total of 219 at Queens Sports Club.

The visitors resumed at 88-1 on Monday, half-centuries from Kraigg Brathwaite (86) and Roston Chase (91 not out) helping to steer Jason Holder's team into what appears to be an unassailable position with two days left to play.

The Windies reached stumps at 369-8, with a declaration likely to arrive promptly on Tuesday. 

Brathwaite fell short of a ton when he was trapped lbw to Sikandar Raza (1-53), but Kemar Roach will join Chase at the crease on day four, when the all-rounder will go in search of his fourth Test century.

Roach is yet to bat, Devendra Bishoo (44) having been dismissed off the last ball of the day to miss out on a first international 50, Sean Williams taking a great catch from the bowling of Graeme Cremer (3-111). 

Bishoo was not the only West Indies player to flirt with a half-century, as brothers Kyle Hope (43) and Shai Hope (44) found themselves lbw victims of the returning Kyle Jarvis (2-66).

Chase did well to retain his composure as a succession of partners came and went, a stand of 92 for the eighth wicket alongside Bishoo proving his most fruitful pairing of a knock that gleaned eight boundaries and one six from 127 deliveries.

"This is a tough pitch, the ball is spinning a lot so the game plan was to be aggressive," Chase was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"I used the conditions to play shots and it went well for me. It's not a big thing for me to bat unbeaten in the 90s."

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