WI secure valuable workout as warm-up ends in draw
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (CMC):
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie collected two wickets apiece as West Indies’ three-day game against a Zimbabwe XI finished in a draw here yesterday.
The 34-year-old Gabriel, on a comeback after having not featured in a Test in 15 months, claimed two for 21 while Motie, a 27-year-old with a single Test under his belt, picked up two for 24.
The Zimbabwe XI, resuming the morning on 52 for five, were dismissed for 122 in their first innings in response to the Caribbean side’s 517.
Timycen Maruma top-scored with 37 and Tafadzwa Tsiga chipped in with an unbeaten 21, the only two players to pass 20.
The 34-year-old right-handed Maruma struck half-dozen fours off 74 balls in a shade over two hours and 15 minutes anchoring a 23-run, seventh wicket stand with Tsiga, who faced 95 balls and counted four fours.
Tsiga then ensured that the tail wagged, putting on a precious 35 for the last wicket with Faraz Akram, who finished not out on 19.
In their second turn at the crease, West Indies ended on 82 for two with vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood hitting an unbeaten 34 and rookie opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, 23 before retiring, both spending valuable time in the middle ahead of the start of the opening Test next weekend.
Blackwood, searching for form after a lean spell against Australia last month, counted four fours and a six in a fluent 49-ball innings while Chanderpaul batted time, spending nearly one hour and 45 minutes at the crease and hitting two fours.
They put on 44 for the third wicket after Raymon Reifer (one), promoted to open the batting, and Nkrumah Bonner (13) both failed.
West Indies take on Zimbabwe in the opening Test starting Saturday at Queens Sports Club.