Dowrich, Holder wrest control for Windies
Opener Kieran Powell agonisingly missed out on a century but wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich chose the ideal time to break out of a protracted slump as he and captain Jason Holder carved out polished, unbeaten half-centuries to put West Indies in control of the second and final Test here yesterday.
At the close of the pivotal third day at Queens Sports Club, the Windies were 374 for seven in their first innings, in reply to Zimbabwe's 326 all out a lead of 48 heading into today's penultimate day.
The left-handed Powell top-scored with 90 to fall short of his fourth Test hundred while Dowrich stroked 74 and Holder, 71, as West Indies fought back gallantly against a spirited Zimbabwe side on an attritional day.
Shai Hope extended his excellent form with 40, while Roston Chase scored 32 and nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo, 23.
West Indies were tested by off-spinner Sikandar Raza who ended with five for 82 and managed to rock the visitors with key strikes in the second session that left the innings tottering at 230 for seven at one stage.
FLOURISHED EARLY ON
Resuming the day on 78 for one, West Indies flourished early on as Powell and Bishoo extended their second wicket stand to 55 before being separated.
The left-handed Bishoo, yet to score at the start, faced 52 deliveries and struck a single boundary before becoming the first casualty of the morning.
Dropped on 21 at midwicket by Brendan Taylor of leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, Bishoo failed to capitalise on his good fortune, chipping a gentle return catch back to Raza.
And with just four runs added, Kyle Hope's misery at international level continued when he played back and was trapped leg before wicket to Raza for one, leaving the Windies 135 for three at the first drinks break.
Powell then set his sights on three figures as he and Shai Hope set about stabilising the innings. He reached his fourth Test half-century in the third over of the morning and then carefully went about compiling a crucial innings which lasted 230 balls and included seven fours.
He had added 28 with Shai Hope and looked a sure bet for a hundred when he perished half-hour before lunch, fending off a short ball from pacer Chris Mpofu to be well caught by Sean Ervine diving to his right at gully.