Hamilton Masakadza and Peter Moor's 142-run stand revived Zimbabwe on the first day of the second Test in Bulawayo, but while Masakadza was pleased to finally convert a good start, Moor was surprised to be batting at all.
"It was great to manage to convert," Masakadza said, who made scores of 42 and 57 in the first Test. "I had been thinking about those starts [in the previous test], and I was just hoping that if I did get another start I would push through. I'm happy to still be out there."
Moor only found out that he was playing when he arrived at the ground, coming in to the team for Sean Williams, who was reportedly "unwell".
"To be honest, this morning when I pitched up I was quite surprised to be in the XI," Moor said. "So, everything caught me a bit by surprise. I just knew that I've got a chance now, I've got to try to make the most of it. I think maybe that's why I was a bit more reserved today. Trying to fight for that position and get a more regular spot.
"The situation required me to be a little bit more reserved," he said. "And Hamilton was scoring much faster than I was, so that took some of the pressure off."
Moor may also have benefited from watching the way West Indies' batsmen went about their work in the first Test, displaying both patience and a penchant for keeping his shots in the V. "Definitely [watching West Indies helped] in terms of hitting a lot straighter. We played a lot of cross-bat shots, and I know that's the way we play, but in my mind I was thinking let me try and play a bit more straight. And it worked for me."
Moor also had the advantage of batting with a veteran of 262 international matches at the other end to offer advice. "We spoke about tactics, discussing what the bowlers were trying to do, what we were trying to do to counter it," Masakadza said. "I actually had quite a bit of fun batting with PJ today, because he brought a lot of energy and he was very positive. I fed quite a bit off that. Between overs I had to stay calm, and keep us both focused."
Masakadza was fortunate early in his knock, when he was caught off a Shannon Gabriel bouncer, but reprieved by a no-ball. Masakadza had started to walk when West Indies asked for a review, despite being given not out.
"The boys were laughing at me in the changerooms for that," Masakadza said. "As it hit me, when it looped up I said to myself 'please don't carry'. When I saw it carry to the fielder I said to myself 'please don't give it'. When they didn't give it, I was saying 'please don't review'. And then when they reviewed I thought, 'ah, they're obviously going to see it on TV, I might as well go'."
Masakadza's continued contribution on the second day will be vital to Zimbabwe's hopes of levelling this series. "I'll try and build another partnership with Raza and see how deep we can take it," he said. "It's going to be very important to get whatever amount of runs we can get in the first innings, so without looking too far ahead I think anything over 350 will be good for us. I think it is still going to turn, much like the last Test, so it's going to be very important to score big in the first innings."