Holder and Dowrich pen a rare script
West Indies were still in deficit by 94 runs when Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder came together. Zimbabwe at that stage were looking at a handy first-innings lead. What ensued would frustrate them: the eighth-wicket pair would add 212. This was only the eight time in Test history that a pair had added 200 or more for the eighth wicket or lower in Test matches. For West Indies, this was their biggest stand for the eighth wicket or lower. Before this, the biggest stand was between Clive Lloyd and Andy Roberts against India in Kolkata in 1983-84, when they had added 161 for the ninth wicket.
By the time West Indies were bowled out, their eighth, ninth and tenth wickets had added their biggest aggregate in a Test innings. The previous highest was 180, against England at Lord's in 1973. In all, West Indies' Nos. 8 to 11 contributed 48.6% of West Indies' first-innings total of 448. There have only been four instances when batsmen at these positions have made a higher contribution when their team has made a 400-plus total in Tests.
Incidentally, the top instance in this list also came against Zimbabwe, when Pakistan's batsmen added 336 runs in the Sheikhupura Test of 1996. A bulk of the runs on that occasion were made by Wasim Akram, who scored 257 - the highest score made by a batsman at No. 8 or lower in a Test innings.
Dowrich and Holder, batting at No. 8 and 9 owing to the use of Devendra Bishoo as a nightwatchman at No. 3, both made hundreds. This was a rare occurrence in Tests. Only once before have two batsmen at No. 8 or lower made hundreds in the same Test innings. Clem Hill - a No. 3 batsman who came down the order because of illness - and Roger Hartigan - a handy first-class batsman on Test debut - got hundreds with Australia just 102 runs ahead with three wickets left in the second innings of the Adelaide Ashes Test in 1907-08.
While Holder's century was his second in Tests, Dowrich's was his maiden hundred, an innings that broke a lean run in Tests. He scored more runs in this innings than he had scored in his previous 12 Test innings, which had produced just 100 runs at an average of 9.09.
Sikandar Raza's unique double
Sikandar Raza combined with Peter Moor for Zimbabwe's own little rescue act in their second innings. While they might not yet be out of the woods, the unbroken 94-run partnership between these two has made sure West Indies will have to bat again. Coming in to bat at 46 for 4 with Zimbabwe still 76 runs behind, Raza scored his second fifty of the match. He starred with the ball as well, taking his maiden five-wicket haul in West Indies first innings. This made him the first Zimbabwe player to make two 50-plus scores and bag a five-wicket haul in a Test match. Overall, Raza's was only the 15th such instance in Test matches. Among those who have achieved this before Raza are illustrious names such as Garry Sobers, Ian Botham, Jacques Kallis and Shakib Al Hasan. Raza's was also only the fifth instance of a Zimbabwe player collecting at least one fifty and a five-for in a Test match.