West Indies v Zimbabwe, 2nd Test, Roseau March 19, 2013

West Indies eye sixth successive win


Match facts

March 20-24, Roseau
Start time 1000 (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

The Barbados Test between West Indies and Zimbabwe lasted just over seven sessions, with the hosts winning by nine wickets a few minutes after a forced lunch break on day three. If you didn't see the game, you would find it hard to believe that Zimbabwe dominated at least two sessions, and even had a reasonable shot at taking a first-innings lead. They had West Indies 151 for 6 after making 211, and it needed a game-changing knock from Darren Sammy at No. 8 to suppress Zimbabwe.

The visitors were competitive with the ball, barring the expensive legspinner Graeme Cremer, who was targeted by Sammy and Marlon Samuels. It is their capitulation with the bat in both innings that will bother Zimbabwe. They were 100 for 2 before collapsing to 211 in the first innings, and lasted 41.4 overs in the second, making 107. An apparent inability to survive even straightforward offbreaks from Shane Shillingford and Samuels led to Zimbabwe losing as many as 13 wickets to spin, nine of them to Shillingford alone.

In the previous Test played at Roseau's Windsor Park, the venue for the second Test, spinners claimed 26 of the 40 wickets Australia and West Indies lost. Shillingford himself picked up a match haul of ten, Nathan Lyon followed with seven, and even Michael Clarke's part-time slow left-arm fetched him a five-for. Those figures show Zimbabwe have their work cut out, especially with Sammy saying the pitch for this match looked similar to the one on which his side had played Australia.

West Indies may be on their longest winning streak since 1988, but they will have reflected on their position in Barbados before Sammy bailed them out. Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, of all people, were guilty of throwing away starts. The opening partnership between Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell began with a 254-run stand against New Zealand in July 2012, but hasn't produced anything of note since then. A deflated Zimbabwe side, who have lost all internationals on this tour, could be a soft target for the West Indies batsmen to make amends.

Form guide

West Indies: WWWWW (Completed matches, most recent first)
Zimbabwe: LLLLW

Players to watch

The West Indies fast bowlers were a handful in Barbados, hitting the Zimbabwe batsmen several times with short deliveries. To their credit, the visitors did not back away but the quicks could easily have taken more than the seven wickets they managed between the three of them. Whether all three of them play in Roseau or not, they will come hard at Zimbabwe once again.

The tourists' captain Brendan Taylor has had scores on this trip of 8, 0 & 39 in the ODIs, 0 & 4 in the Twenty20s, 20 & 20 in the three-day tour match, and 26 & 6 in the Barbados Test. On the rare occasion he's got off to a start, he has not been able to convert it into anything substantial. The way he fell to Shillingford in the second innings in Barbados, stepping out early on, stopping midway, and nudging to forward short leg, showed confusion. He has one last chance to salvage something from a horror tour.

Team news

Barring injuries, the only decision for West Indies to make would be whether to include an additional spinner at the expense of the third fast bowler.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 and 9 Shannon Gabriel/Tino Best/Veerasammy Permaul, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Shane Shillingford

Will Zimbabwe persist with Cremer? Or will they bring in the steadier offspin of Prosper Utseya, with so many left-handers in the West Indies top six? Will they tinker with the batting?

Zimbabwe (possible) 1 Tino Mawoyo, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt), 5 Craig Ervine, 6 Malcolm Waller/Sean Williams, 7 Regis Chakabva (wk), 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Ray Price, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Tendai Chatara

Stats and trivia

  • This will be the third Test to be played at Windsor Park
  • In the last two years, West Indies have had only five fifty-plus opening partnerships


"So far we have played five specialist batsmen and four specialist bowlers and we are looking to continue in that way."
Darren Sammy

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    @ ZCF_Outcast trust me i've grown up watching Warne and MacGill bowl Legspin its a very hard art to master but Cremer ( and Mushangwe ) have loads of potential and just need more experience and yes 12 months is a long time between tests if he plays 8 tests in one year you will see a big improvment !! Maybe if he spends time with Warney ?? Shane was always keen to help ot yong leggies !!!

  • Clester on March 20, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    We need to stop this debate about the selection of Sammy. The truth is there is no great distinction between the all rounders in the West Indies.Their might be an argument that some may be slightly more talented the others but none of them are outstanding or game changing. They are all in the same bracket and their selection or non selection wouldn't have much of an impact on the results of the game. What has made the difference is the leadership quality that Sammy has brought and the passion that was lacking in the past years, his ability to extend that passion to those around him. Unfortunately I am noticing the passion to win is waning a bit. We saw it Australia, the Bangladesh ODIs and even in this series. Maybe its an overconfidence thing or maybe its all the in fighting but we need to rally around the West Indies and continue our climb out of the doldrums

  • Leonard on March 20, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    So going into this match we(Zim) have played 88 tests,won 9,drew 26 and lost-----(remainder).Hoping the state of life does not cripple our game to the extremes(if we are not there already).

  • ZCF on March 20, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    @Kuda What are you talking about? Is it not the batsman's job to unsettle the spinner early in order to prevent him from settling down to a rhythm?

    Pathetic spinners(Cremer, Tahir, Lyon & Doherty) fold, good ones don't! Utseya would have never crumbled like those four did in those respective situations, and in my opinion he's a far much better wicket-taker than the current Price!

    It seems to me that Price can bowl two days flat and unless other bowlers do his job for him, the opposition would declare before they've gifted him a 2nd wicket. If the amount of runs he leaks in the field were to be added to his bowling then calling him economical would be rather generous.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    get 0ff sammys back he has proven to me at least hes a good alrounder and capt.

    any how i like the combination of sammy and gibson the guys you should be after are sarwan who is so inconsistant as i have said before many times if he was australian he would be dumped he might have an average of 40 but what are his numbers against the top countries of the world.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    @ ZCF-Outcast, utseya is not a test bowler, i dont see him bowling wicket taking delivaries, he relies on economy which is quite useful in limited overs but not in a test context. Its better to stick with cremer, or try Mutombodzi, they have much promise. The only reason cremer was expensive is that WI knew if they let him settle he will give them trouble, he needs to find a rhythm and bowl with better control, his variations especially with the googly can be useful.

  • Carl on March 20, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Once again, the selectors have missed a golden opportunity to blood a youngster. Delorn Johnson should have been drafted into the side, with Tino Best making way in the final XI. I wouldn't select two specialist spinners, despite the likely spin friendly track, but rely upon Shillingford, Samuels and Gayle for the slow stuff. The quicks can't possibly be as unlucky as they were in Barbados, so I doubt that Shillingford will have the opportunity to take quite so many wickets in this test. It should be another large margin of victory for the home side, but they need to dominate throughout this time and ensure an emphatic victory, taking the series 2-0.

  • Daniel on March 20, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Pontiac is right. I really don't understand all the Sammy bashing. He is an all-rounder, and a good one. Of course he doesn't get the runs like a specialist batsman, nor the wickets that a dedicated bowler would. Still, he has a very respectable average for a low-order batter (better it seems than some of the Windies' unreliable 'specialist' batsmen), bowls with good economy and gets the occasional wicket. As Captain he seems to have finally gotten the Windies playing well and headed in the right direction. What more could you ask? I think it would be a big mistake to take him out. I've been following WI cricket for years and I well remember when "superior" players failed as captains. Being a good captain requires an intangible skill set that is harder to measure than batting or bowling, but is no less important for a team to succeed.

  • ZCF on March 20, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    @Julian That was Cremer's second successive Test and Century conceded at over 5rpo. If he plays again the end result will be the same! I said it before, playing this Test would be his biggest mistake and the inevitable happened! We have a lot(Mushangwe & Mutombodzi) that's showing far more promiseand control than he did at the same age so let's stick to them! Even Maruma has similar potential with the ball but multiple time s more with the bat.

    You may argue that there were 12 months in between, but a good bowler should be able to do something right 20 overs. Cremer did nothing right in 42 overs across both matches. If he hadn't bowled a single ball in the 1st Test, we might have had a chance!

    You're right about Utseya in for Price. First piece of common sense I've bumped into...

  • ZCF on March 20, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    @grahaam It's pontless to speak of Coventry in the ODI context. If anything what the BPL proved was that he'sturned into a glorified Piet Rinke - a gamble even in T20. We're best served by introducing a young Kasuza, or persisting with a younger Chibhabha who top scored for us from the middle order.

    Why do you need Meth when Hami is there? Hasn't Mpofu recovered?

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