Sikandar Raza, the Zimbabwe allrounder, claimed his maiden five-wicket haul before Windies launched a vital counter-attack as the two sides traded blows on the third afternoon of the second Test on Tuesday (October 31).
Windies looked in control of the match when they reached 219 for 4 in response to Zimbabwe’s 326 all out, only for Sikandar Raza to grab three wickets in four overs and reduce them to 230 for 7.
However a bold partnership of 58 between Shane Dowrich, the wicketkeeper, and Jason Holder, the captain, reduced the deficit as they carried Windies to tea on 288 for 7, trailing by 38.
With figures of 5 for 61, Raza became the first Zimbabwean spinner to take a five-wicket haul at Queens Sports Club since Ray Price achieved the feat against the same opponents in 2003.
Having contributed 80 in Zimbabwe’s first innings, he was also the fifth Zimbabwean to score a fifty and take five wickets in a Test.
While the second evening had produced attritional cricket as Windies crawled to stumps on 78 for 1, the tourists were more adventurous on third day with Kieran Powell, the opener, leading the way in a 55-run stand for the second wicket with Devendra Bishoo, the nightwatchman.
It took the introduction of Sikandar Raza to change the course of the morning, as he had Bishoo caught and bowled for 23 and then trapped Kyle Hope lbw for one.
Powell looked destined for a fourth Test century after he was dropped on 85 by Graeme Cremer, but Chris Mpofu ensured the mistake was not costly as he used the second new ball to have the opener caught at gully for 90.
An attacking 56-run stand for the fifth wicket between Shai Hope and Roston Chase put the West Indies back on top after lunch, before Sikandar Raza intervened once again. After Chase was trapped lbw for 32 by the offspinner, Hope was bowled for 40 and Jermaine Blackwood became Sikandar Raza’s fifth victim.
With a deficit of 96 and just three wickets in hand Windies looked set to concede a large first-innings lead on a difficult pitch, but Dowrich’s unbeaten 36 and Holder’s 25 not out gave them a sense of parity at tea.