Mahwire puts Zimbabwe in position to end losing streak

Zimbabwe 507-9 dec West Indies 241-6
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The Independent Online

They had to perform a unique pitch transplant before they could get the third day of the first Test underway here yesterday, after which Zimbabwe continued to perform their own clinical dissection of the feeble West Indies.

They had to perform a unique pitch transplant before they could get the third day of the first Test underway here yesterday, after which Zimbabwe continued to perform their own clinical dissection of the feeble West Indies.

A sizeable indentation made on the pitch when the roller ran over a stray ball from Zimbabwe's pre-match warm-up delayed play for two hours while the damage was repaired. After that, Zimbabwe's bowlers proceeded to capitalise on their daunting first innings of 507 for 9 declared and the weak West Indian batting.

By the close, the West Indies were 241 for 6, still 66 away from the ignominious certainty of following on, with only Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the main batsmen remaining.

The Zimbabweans tightened the screws, principally through the left-arm spinner Ray Price and Blessing Mahwire, a 22-year-old medium-pacer in his third Test. Price bothered the batsmen with his variations of flight and spin, claiming the threatening Brian Lara among his three victims, to a catch at long-on for 29.

Zimbabwe are in a strong position to end a sequence of 11 successive defeats. The West Indies need a major effort to avoid their 26th loss in their last 31 overseas Tests - and their first against Zimbabwe.

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