Zimbabwe XI, Windies warm up match ends in a draw Zimbabwe XI playing a shot against West Indies

Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter

THE three-day warm-up cricket match between Zimbabwe XI and the West Indies at Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) finished as a draw yesterday after bad light brought the game to its end. 

Batting first, the Windies scored 517 all out in their first innings and managed to bowl out the home side for just 122 runs before choosing not to enforce the follow-on. At the end of the match, the visitors were on 82-2 before play was called off.

The huge score for the Windies was courtesy of two centuries from skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and wicketkeeper, Joshua Da Silva. Brathwaite made 116 runs off 170 deliveries while Da Silva notched up exactly 100 runs from 149 balls to propel their side to a huge total in the first innings. 

Other batsmen with notable scores were Roston Chase who remained undefeated on 87 runs and Devon Thomas who fell just one run short of a half-century. Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Kyle Mayers scored 46 runs each in the match where the hosts had a hard time in getting wickets.

Zimbabwe XI against West Indies

Left-arm spinner Milton Shumba took the most wickets for Zimbabwe XI in the Windies first innings finishing with figures of 3/80 while veteran seamer Donald Tiripano took two, giving away just 24 runs in 13. 3 overs.

Faced with a huge score, the Zimbabwe XI top order failed to get going with Timycen Maruma top scoring with 37 runs. Tafadzwa Tsiga chipped in with a patient 95 ball 21 runs not out as the home side collapsed with the bat. Fast bowlers Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel and left arm spinner Gudakesh Motie picked up two wickets apiece as the Windies bowled out Zimbabwe XI in 56.3 overs. 

Zimbabwe and West Indies are preparing to square off in the prolonged version of the game for the first time since 2017 at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, with the first five-day contest taking place on February 4-8. 

The Chevrons have never won in Test cricket against the Windies having played 10 matches before. West Indies have won seven of the matches whilst three were draws.

Zimbabwe, coached by the legendary Dave Houghton head into battle without the services of Test skipper Sean Williams who is out nursing a finger injury. All-rounders Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl will also be missing from the red ball series after being allowed to travel abroad to play franchise Twenty20 cricket. 

Zimbabwe are yet to announce their final squad for the series but chances are high there will be a number of debutants and recalls when the two sides square off on Saturday, with some of the players in the Zimbabwe XI likely to be included in the Zimbabwean team

After the not so impressive display by Zimbabwe XI, Houghton must be pondering his options with former England batsman Gary Ballance and Craig Ervine key on the batting front. – @brandon_malvin

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