Last Update: February 08, 2023, 23:59 IST
Zimbabwe escaped defeat in the first Test in Bulawayo on Wednesday thanks to some testing spin bowling by first-innings centurion Gary Ballance and West Indian pair Gudakesh Moti and Roston Chase.
Set 272 to win in at least 49 overs, Zimbabwe were 134 for six before stumps were drawn after West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite declared their second innings at 203 for five.
“To see Zimbabwe come back and get back into the game and push for the win says a lot about Test cricket,” Brathwaite said.
“I believe Test cricket is alive. For players, Test cricket is like fighting for their country. Zimbabwe did it, that’s Test cricket for you.
“We wanted to get 10 wickets (in the last session), that was the focus. But we knew it was going to be tough and Zimbabwe batted well.
Zimbabwe made a strong comeback from their lower order to 119 for five and former England batsman Ballance chased wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva for 18.
Any thoughts of chasing down the imaginary target were long gone, with Queens’ emphasis on surviving the last 70 balls. Play club.
Brad Evans was dismissed for a duck eight balls later and after six wickets through Pearl and Chase, the tourists sealed a dramatic victory.
But wicket-keeper Tafadzwa Siga scored an unbeaten 24 off 83 balls, while tail-ender Wellington Masakadza played 36 balls and was the match-saver not out.
The first three innings of the match were declared and almost 100 overs were lost due to rain in the first two days.
West Indies opener Tagenarin Chanderpaul was named player of the match for scoring an unbeaten 207 in the first innings, his maiden Test century.
Ballance also enjoyed a memorable debut for Zimbabwe, marking it with 137 in the first innings, making him only the second batsman after Kepler Wessels to score a Test century for two countries.
Prior to his century against the West Indies, Ballance had scored four centuries for England, while the South African-born Wessels had scored four centuries for Australia and two for his mother country.
Moti bowled 24 overs and took four wickets for 50 runs while Chase took two wickets for only nine runs in 12 overs which included six maidens.
The second and final Test starts on Sunday.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)