West Indies v Zimbabwe, 2nd Test, Roseau, 1st day March 20, 2013

Shillingford, Gayle put West Indies on top


West Indies 114 for 2 (Gayle 61*) trail Zimbabwe 175 (Shillingford 5-59, Samuels 3-15) by 61 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Zimbabwe had lost 13 wickets to spin in Barbados. Roseau was supposed to help the slow bowlers even more and Zimbabwe were expected to have a tough time. A little while after tea on day one, the West Indies spinners had already pocketed eight wickets, five of them to local boy Shane Shillingford, and Zimbabwe had collapsed after starting at frenetic pace. Chris Gayle made it a thoroughly one-sided day with his first half-century in nine innings and by stumps West Indies had knocked off two-thirds of the deficit.

Again, just like in Barbados, none of the batsmen fell to unplayable deliveries, although there were several of them jumping and kicking around, rather surprising for a day one surface, especially outside the subcontinent. Instead, it was plain impatience and inability, a dangerous combination, that led to Zimbabwe falling apart.

Admittedly, there was generous help for the slow bowlers. The first delivery Shillingford bowled spun in sharply from outside off to hit Brendan Taylor on the flap of the pad outside leg, as early as the 19th over.

When so much is happening for the bowler, you don't go about reverse-sweeping him, especially when your concentration might not be at its keenest soon after the lunch break. Which is what Taylor attempted against Shillingford and missed, the ball bouncing into his chin and rolling on to the stumps after brushing his forearm. You could argue it was an unfortunate dismissal to continue a horror tour for the Zimbabwe captain, who seemed quite determined. But when Taylor was sweeping as well as he did in conventional fashion, reversing the stroke wasn't exactly judicious shot selection.

Malcolm Waller did worse than his captain, having a slog at Shillingford in the penultimate over before tea to hole out to deep midwicket.

Sean Williams battled in his debut Test, defending resolutely, playing late, keeping them down with soft hands and shaking his head in helplessness when beaten by the regular rippers. Craig Ervine fought as well, but both batsmen ended up falling to the offspin of Marlon Samuels, who, with seven wickets in two innings this series, might take offence to being labelled a part-timer.

There was absolutely no resistance from the tail, and when Tendai Chatara shouldered arms and crouched in the path of a Shillingford delivery on middle stump, the offspinner had successive five-fors, after his 6 for 51 in the second innings in Barbados.

Zimbabwe lost their last six wickets for 34 after going into lunch at 92 for 3. They had raced away to 42 for 0 following Darren Sammy's decision to bowl on what had appeared then to be a flat pitch. The way Vusi Sibanda began, even the West Indies attack appeared flat.

The beginning couldn't have been any more different from how the rest of the innings panned out. Early morning rain had forced a 30-minute delayed start and, armed with three specialist quick bowlers, Sammy had hoped to use the moisture in the surface. He must have been horrified at what followed. Kemar Roach and Tino Best were either too short or too full, and Sibanda tore into them with six fours.

There was no swing or seam in that initial period and the openers defended effort deliveries without any bother. There would have been a few already starting to doubt if West Indies had made the correct decision.

All that changed as soon as Shannon Gabriel came on in the ninth over and immediately settled on a good length. There was swing to be had, as Best had shown in the previous over when he finally found that length. Gabriel beat Tino Mawoyo a couple of times with away-going deliveries. The last ball of the over nipped in from a good length, Mawoyo shouldered arms, and lost his off stump.

In Gabriel's next over, Zimbabwe went from misjudgment to downright casual. Sibanda drove a full toss straight to a tumbling Roach at wide mid-on. Yet another promising Sibanda innings had been cut short in the thirties. Gabriel's figures read 4-4-0-2.

Shillingford needed six deliveries to strike. The second ball Masakadza faced from Shillingford, he charged out and had a blind heave, only to escape as the skier shot over slip. The sixth one was a flighted doosra, which Masakadza tried to turn to leg like a normal offbreak, and was bowled. The working over was a harbinger of the impending collapse.

Kieran Powell did a Sibanda when West Indies came out to bat, playing an aggressive cameo before falling to an inswinging Kyle Jarvis delivery again. In his next over, Jarvis handed Darren Bravo his first duck in Tests when he had the batsman flailing a wide delivery through to the keeper.

Gayle and Samuels dug in at 35 for 2. Gayle had little fluency for a long time as he jabbed half-forward to keep out length deliveries from the quicks. Nevertheless, he kept lashing the odd boundary down the ground or through the covers, and towards the end, started to look a lot more comfortable.

The Zimbabwe spinners made little impression, although Prosper Utseya got only three overs. Samuels had gone after Graeme Cremer in Barbados and here he stepped out to loft the legspinner for a straight six in his opening over. Both Cremer and Utseya did send down a few testing deliveries, but were too inconsistent to pose a threat.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Why no one is mentioning about Sarwan? He has got long way to go and he is good at both Test and ODI and he will be the best replacement for middle order and a good replacement for Chandrapaul.

  • Fraser on March 21, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    i will now explain in great detail why the west indies hould be worried about their sides future. Chanderpaul is near retiremnt age and i cannot think of another replacement for him in this line up. Any replacement will not be half as paitent exposing the no 6 and 7. Ramdin is not good enough to bat at no6 and is only their so sammy can find his way into the side. Sammy is hit and miss with hsi batting and if his bowling can only take 0 zimbabwe wickets in 3 matches then it tells you something about his bowling. He cannot farm the strike,rotate the strike well or bat for long periods of time. His batting stratgey involves smacking every ball for 6 or defending.If he has more responsiblity thrust on him when chanders replacement fails he will fail putting his side in the mire

  • Love on March 21, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    West indies played well, little disappointed bravo got out for duck, he has excellent ave over 45, should have scored runs, he will if we bat again. LOOKS LIKE WE WILL WIN 6 TESTS I. ROW... WEST INDIES FOREVER

  • kent on March 21, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    @jb633 I agree with you on three points:1. Wi has an excellent chice on becoming a good side. 2. The pitches are no longer good for fast bowling. 3. We should play two frontline spinners. However I do not believe Sammy can retain his place in the test side; although I have no problem with him leading the T20. His removal will allow for more options ( Bishoo, MIller, Permaul, Narine and maybe Deonarine, let these players compete for their places)2. we must give the young pacers a chance, Gabriel has shown his capability, Holder and Beaton are also knocking vigorously on the door. These guys are young fresh and bursting at the seams. Let them loose on the opposition. Bring these players in for an occasional game. We must not rely entirely on Roach, Best and Edwards, our fast bowling stock are pretty good, lets use them. In order for WI to rise again we must exploit all our resources and ensure that we always pick the right players. Sammy is an obstacle in the latter.

  • Carl on March 21, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Re: jb633,

    No. There are enough quality quicks around. The problem is that the selectors persist with guys like Fidel Edwards for way too long, instead of bringing in Delorn Johnson or Jerome Taylor. I defy anybody that claims Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor are not class bowlers. Johnson, once he has been given a run in the test side, will surprise a lot of people. I only hope that the selectors see fit to do it sooner rather than later. Regarding the pitches and selection/make up of the attack, to play two spinners would be a waste. Deonarine, Samuels and even Gayle all add viable options as a second spinner. Its too risky to play only two front line quicks, if one is injured then you are stuck with Sammy opening the bowling. An attack comprising three from Roach, Taylor, Johnson, Gabriel or Holder, plus either Permaul, Narine or Shillingford, with support from Sammy, Samuels or Deonarine and Gayle, would bring balance and potency to the Windies bowling.

  • ZCF on March 21, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Pretty certain the WI batsmen and the entire Caribbean were pleased to see Cremer in the Zim lineup.

    @Krishna you're quite correct about this - "Sibanda especially needs to improve his longevity at the crease ,he alone can dismantle this Windies attack". Hamilton has Test match temperament, and the ability to dominate and boss more than Sibanda albeit with less elegance. Considering that Sibanda is an opener and vulnerable early, Hamilton is the key.

    @SuperSharky, fielding Price is a luxury not a necessity! Just like most Zimbabwe batsmen during their innings, Jarvis was fetching because he's poor, Bravo & young Powell gifted those wickets.

    I wish Shillingford all the best going forward. I certainly hope to see him feature regularly in the top 5 Test bowlers. We might not have Warne and Murali anymore, but classy guys like Ajmal, Herath, Swann & now Shillingford (I don't rate any of the Indian spinners) keep the spinners department healthy.

  • Derek on March 21, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    @Shawn Shawn people like you would drop Sir Donald Bradman after his 21 st test match. The greats IVA Richard and BC Lara made 10 and 17 test match ducks respectively. Bravo is one for the future. How he recovers from his first innings failure will dictate his future; if he is psychologically frail. For the record when Sir Don made his first test match duck his next innings was a double century. Cricketers are humans who occasionally FAIL.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    why west indies play Darren Bravo in all 3 format

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    I am happy for Shane Shillingford as he wasn't giving a fair share after the England tour, but Narine would have done just as well against Zimbabwe, even Samuels looks like a world class bowler not turning the ball.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    @ delboy_my sentiment exactly!! well said.