Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel ripped out three Zimbabwe wickets in the opening session as Windies made a strong start to the second Test at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Sunday (October 29).

After winning the toss and deciding to bat in their bid to earn a share of the two-match series, Zimbabwe went to lunch on 56 for 3.

They lost Solomon Mire in the fourth over of the day when he edged behind off Roach, before Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor were bowled by Gabriel and Roach respectively.

Gabriel could have had another wicket when opener Hamilton Masakadza was caught at gully, but replays showed that the fast bowler had overstepped. Masakadza therefore survived to reach lunch unbeaten on 35, while Peter Moor dug in alongside him to make 15 not out.

Moor was only playing after Zimbabwe went into the game without two important players. Kyle Jarvis missed out because of an ankle injury, while Sean Williams was too ill to take the field. As a result, Moor came in as a replacement middle-order batsman while Tendai Chisoro, the left-arm spinner, made his Test debut.

The changes left Zimbabwe with just two seamers in their line-up, which made Graeme Cremer’s victory at the toss all the more important as the hosts look to bounce back from a 117-run defeat in the first Test.

Although Queens Sports Club was overcast and unseasonably cold the pitch had significant bare patches on which Zimbabwe’s spinners will hope to have success later in the match.