West Indies won the first Test against Zimbabwe by 117 runs after setting a mammoth target of 434 for the home side to chase. The Windies scored 373 in the second innings to set up the chase for Zimbabwe, who then folded for 316 to lose the match.
The first innings for both teams were marred by low scores, but that quickly changed in the second half as both teams adjusted to a dead pitch with little help for the bowlers. Brendan Taylor and Jarvis both returned after long absences from the Zimbabwean international team, and both were somewhat disappointing given the high, perhaps too high, expectations for them. They will need to do well, along with the rest of the team if they are to beat the Windies.
Graeme Cremer (c), Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Malcolm Waller, Peter Moor, Regis Chakabva, Michael Chinouya, Chris Mpofu, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chisoro, Nyasha Mayavo
Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach
Where the teams stand
In hindsight, the 159 in the first innings doomed Zimbabwe to defeat in the first Test. The Windies struggled in their innings, but a stronger score could have salvaged the match for the home side.
The first three all got off to good starts, but the batting completely collapsed thereafter, the highest being 12 from the other eight batsmen. The run chase would always be impossible for them, but they did well to reach even 316.
Sean Williams and Graeme Cremer were the pick of the bowlers, taking a total of 14 wickets between them. Jarvis took three wickets on his return, struggling to hit his stride. He can only get better from here, and when he does, he will be a potent force for the Windies to contend with.
Despite the wickets, they were ordinary in the second innings, allowing many of the opposition batsmen to settle at the crease. Five batsmen passed 40, including Devendra Bishoo, which only evidences the need for improvement. As of now, the Windies need to actualise their raw talent. If they can do so, the second Test will be a much closer encounter.
The Windies did well to recover from their first innings with the bat. They were bowled out for 219, with Shai Hope top scoring at 90. However, they bowled the Zimbabweans out for a lower score and put up a huge total in the second innings to set a target that was far too much for the home side.
Brathwaite and Shai Hope were the heroes of the match with the bat, along with Roston Chase and Devendra Bishoo. The former pair got the Windies to victory in England and are vital to their success. Bishoo was a surprise with the bat, scoring 44 and taking nine wickets in both innings. They fared better than expected and earned the result.
The Windies need more than just Bishoo to take wickets though. He will not win them the match every time. Holder and Roach will be the key players for the team in the second Test, along with Shai Hope and Brathwaite.
West Indies to win and finish the two-match series at 2-0.
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