Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor top-scored with 33 while opener Vusi Sibanda (32) and debutant Sean Williams (31) also got starts. After a half-hour late start due to drizzle, Sibanda and Tino Mawoyo scored 42 runs for the opening wicket before the strapping Gabriel struck twice to dismantle the tourists. Mawoyo battled through 30 before he misjudged an inswinger from Gabriel and get bowled as he left the ball untouched.
Soon after, Gabriel claimed the dangerous Sibanda’s wicked who had driven a full toss hard and low to Kemar Roach at mid-on. Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza tried to rebuilt the third-wicket stand of 21 before Shillingford made a breakthrough by making Masakadza bowled at 14.
Taylor did play authentically before getting perished to a reverse sweep off Shillingford at 105-4. Left-hander Craig Ervine and Williams shared a fifth-wicket stand of 31 before Samuels broke through by claiming Ervine lbw at 18. Zimbabwe then slumped further as Malcolm Waller (9) holed out to deep midwicket off Shillingford and Samuels removed Graeme Cremer for a duck, Kieran Powell catching a brilliant, low stroke at short leg.
Zimbabwe’s last six wickets tumbled for mere 34 runs. Williams’ encouraging debut innings was ended by Samuels after he top-edged a sweep into his helmet and straight to short leg. Shillingford then completed his five-wicket haul by collecting the wickets of Prosper Utseya and last man Tendai Chatara, pping both lbw.
In response, Gayle’s solid innings lifted West Indies to 114-2 at stumps. The powerful left-hander partnered an unbroken third-wicket stand of 79 with fellow Jamaican Samuels, who remained unbeaten at 26. The tourist fast bowler Kyle Jarvis grabbed 2-35.
Gayle and Powell gave the hosts a nice start before Jarvis struck twice to lift Zimbabwe’s hopes. Powell, at 24 pushed a Yorker back onto his stumps, while Darren Bravo departed for his first duck in test cricket, chasing a wide delivery and edging to the wicketkeeper. But Gayle along with Samuels rescued the Caribbean side from the uncertainty of 35-2 till trailing to only 61runs from the tourists by the close.
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