Latest Match Report – West Indies vs Zimbabwe 1st Test 2022/23

West Indies 221 for 0 (Brathwaite 116*, Chandrapal 101*) Vs. Zimbabwe

After claiming the first two sessions of a wet outfield on Day 2 in Bulawayo, superb centuries from Craig Brathwaite and Taginerain Chandrapal saw West Indies extend their grip on the first Test against Zimbabwe.

Only 51 overs were played on the first day, which started due to rain, and the West Indies resumed with 112 for 0 and made the most of the 38 overs offered on the second day. Overnight rain meant that although the covers were closed early on Sunday, the outfield was unfit for play and after several inspections it was decided that play would start after tea.

Both batsmen opened the day with 55 runs, and while Chandrapal began to rotate the strike better than on Saturday, it was Brathwaite who got the first couple of boundaries. With more than three sessions already lost in the game, both openers picked up the pace, taking the run rate from 2.03 on Day 1 to 2.86 on Day 2.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers toiled once again, but for the second day in a row they had no wickets to show for it.

Brathwaite completed his 12th Test century off 226 balls in the 82nd over with a late cut past slip by left-arm spinner Wellington Masakdza. His knock was mainly about strike rotation and showed great connection with Chandrapal when running between the wickets. He hit only five fours while making his century. Four is the lowest boundary count in a Test century since 2002.

Over the course of two days, Brathwaite and Chandrapal took dangerous singles, even after playing the ball to close fielders. It meant Zimbabwe had a few chances, but nothing too obvious, as both openers kept the scoreboard ticking despite not finding the boundary with such regularity. They were the way they liked.

And once Zimbabwe took the second new ball, Braithwaite – who had just reached his century – was quick to capitalize, using the extra pace on the ball to hit a pair of sharp boundaries off Richard Ngarawa and Victor Nyauchi. Were.

While it took his father Shivnarine Chandrapal 52 innings and almost eight years to score his maiden Test century away from home, Taginerain needed just five innings and just over two months.

In the 88th over, Chandrapal took Nyachi past midwicket for 99, and after a few nervous moments, tucked the last delivery of the over behind square to bring up a century off 286 balls. Once his helmet came off in celebration, relief and joy were evident on his face.

After the West Indies tour was one of the few positives for Australia, Chandrapal showed he has the stomach to dig in and stay at the crease for long. It took him 19 deliveries to get off the mark on day one and he showed similar patience on Sunday. He was also fearless in constructing dot balls whenever he got the chance, removing bad balls whenever he got the chance.

In the process, he also became the first West Indies opener besides Brathwaite to score a Test century since Chris Gayle in March 2013.

Brathwaite and Chandrapaul now have the highest opening partnership for West Indies since July 2012, when Chris Gayle and Kieron Powell put on 254 runs against New Zealand.

For a long time, the West Indies Test captain has fought a lone battle for them at the top order. Finally, it looks like he’s found a partner who can provide him with some much-needed help. But with more rain expected later tonight, they will have to pick up the pace if they are to push for a win in this Test.

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