Brendan Taylor rues batting failure
Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, rued his team's performance with the bat in the first Test in Barbados, where West Indies won comfortably by nine wickets. Several Zimbabwe batsmen, including Taylor, squandered starts in the first innings to post just 211 on the first day, and then collapsed in the second innings to be bowled out for 107.
"It was a tough Test, we let ourselves down in the first innings," Taylor said at the post-match presentation. "Getting just 200 was disappointing, had we got 300 it could have been a different game. Not a lot of positives in the game apart from Kyle Jarvis' bowling."
Five of the top six got starts in the first innings, but only three batsmen managed to reach double-figures in the second. Struggling at 41 for 3 at stumps at the end of the second day, Zimbabwe were bowled out in the morning session on the third. "We've got to find a way to combat their spin [Shane Shillingford] and three-pronged pace attack [Tino Best, Shannon Gabriel, and Kemar Roach]."
Jarvis picked up a five-for in the first innings, this after he had just two wickets to his name in the limited-overs matches prior to the Test series. "I am pleased for him," Taylor said. "It's nice to see him swinging the ball again."
Taylor admitted it didn't help that one of his strike bowlers, legspinner Graeme Cremer, proved expensive in the first innings, as Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, and Denesh Ramdin took him for runs. But he backed the bowler to fight back, and hoped for a better performance from the team in the next Test in Dominica. "We hear it spins more in Dominica, it'll be challenging."
Sammy praised his team for winning five Tests in a row, their first such achievement since 1988. His quickfire knock was a game-changing one and he said he'd been working with his batting coach Toby Ratford, who suggested a slight change to his grip. But the Man of the Match was offspinner Shillingford, who picked up nine wickets in the game, including six in the second innings, in what was his Test comeback. He played his previous Test in England in May 2012.
"I played a couple of games here during the first-class season and picked up wickets, I just gave it my all," Shillingford said. He has had an impressive first-class season, collecting 24 wickets for Windward Islands in three games at 15.25. "I tried to bowl a consistent line first up and then tried to spin the ball as much as possible."