West Indies v Zimbabwe
Day 4 of 1st Test
Venue: Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Toss: West Indies
Gary Ballance became only the player to score a Test century for two countries as his unbeaten 137 helped Zimbabwe avoid the follow-on against the West Indies on Tuesday.
The left-hander, playing his first Test for Zimbabwe after his last for England in 2017, anchored his new side to 379-9 declared – allowing 68 runs on the first innings.
In the 13 overs left on the penultimate day, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite, not out on 11, and fellow opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, not out on 10, batted to the close with little bother in almost an hour to carry the visitors to 21 without loss in their second innings, for an overall lead of 89.
Ballance’s heroics meant he became only the second cricketer after former Australia opener and South Africa captain Kepler Wessels to score Test hundreds for two countries, and the third to score a hundred on Test debut for Zimbabwe. He shared a century stand with Brandon Mavuta who made a career-best 56.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was the most successful West Indies bowler with 3-75 from 26 overs, fellow pacer Jason Holder grabbed 2-55 from 17 overs, and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie persevered to grab 2-110 from 33 overs.
“Of course, we wanted to get them out for as little as possible, but it didn’t happen. We have one more day of cricket, and we’ll be looking to go again and try to win. The pitch is pretty flat, and the final day should be a good batting day, but we will be trying to win the game. We were a bit surprised by the declaration, but we understand it because Zimbabwe is also trying to make a game out of it,” Joseph said after play.–CWI