Hamilton Masakadza’s fifth Test century helped Zimbabwe recover from a horror start to the second Test against Windies on Sunday (October 29) and end a rain-hit first day on 169 for 4.
Just 61 overs were possible as rain wiped out most of the final session, but there was still enough time for Masakadza to register an unbeaten 101 and drag Zimbabwe out of a hole.
The home side slumped to 14 for 3 after winning the toss and electing to bat first, as Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel struck with the new ball.
In cloudy conditions it took Roach just two overs to make the first breakthrough as he had Solomon Mire caught behind, and Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor soon followed when they were bowled by Gabriel and Roach respectively.
Those early setbacks meant that Peter Moor, who was only a last-minute pick as Sean Williams, the allrounder, withdrew because of illness, walked out to bat in challenging conditions.
But he duly dug in for a 142-run stand for the fourth wicket with Masakadza, putting Zimbabwe back in a match that they must win to earn a share of the series.
“I actually had quite a bit of fun batting with Peter today, because he brought a lot of energy and he was very positive. I fed quite a bit off that,” said Masakadza.
Masakadza was fortunate to survive in the 11th over of the day, when he was caught at gully off Gabriel before replays revealed a no-ball. Masakadza was on 15 at the time.
While Moor reached a patient half-century moments after tea, he was then bowled by Roston Chase, the offspinner, to give Windies a welcome breakthrough.
Masakadza went to three figures soon after, reaching his fifth Test century more than 16 years after recording his first one on debut against the same opponents.
“He had a bit of luck with the no-ball, but he’s certainly played well. He hits the ball well and on wickets like these he’s tough to contain as well,” said Stuart Law, the Windies coach.