Dowrich brought up his maiden Test century with a towering six off Cremer. © Getty Images

Dowrich brought up his maiden Test century with a towering six off Cremer. © Getty Images

Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder scored centuries before the Windies bowlers struck four times to strengthen their grip on the second Test against Zimbabwe on Wednesday (November 1).

After Dowrich and Holder shared a record 212-run stand for the eighth wicket to carry Windies to a first-innings total of 448 on the fourth morning, Kemar Roach picked up two wickets before lunch.

Shannon Gabriel and Devendra Bishoo followed up with a wicket apiece in the second session before Peter Moor and Sikandar Raza steadied the innings to take Zimbabwe to tea on 66 for 4, still trailing by 56 runs.

Zimbabwe’s chances of ending an 11-match losing streak in Tests had looked good when Raza’s maiden five-wicket haul reduced Windies to 230 for 7 on the third afternoon at Queens Sports Club.

But Dowrich and Holder constructed Windies’ highest eighth-wicket partnership in history, guiding them to stumps on 374 for 7 before continuing their assault on Wednesday morning.

Holder enjoyed some good fortune on 78 when he was dropped by Regis Chakabva, the wicketkeeper, off Graeme Cremer, and made the most of it as he went on to score 110.

Dowrich brought up his maiden Test century with a towering six off Cremer, but the partnership was finally ended in the following over when he was trapped lbw for 103 by Tendai Chisoro.

Having gained his maiden Test wicket, Chisoro went on to bowl Holder in his next over before wrapping up the innings when he trapped Roach lbw. The left-arm spinner finished with 3 for 113, while Raza ended with 5 for 99.

Needing to bat big in their second innings if they wanted to win the match and earn a share of the two-match series, Zimbabwe made a horrific start when Roach dismissed the two openers in consecutive overs.

Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor attempted to resurrect the innings after lunch with a patient stand, but Taylor was trapped lbw by Gabriel before Ervine was bowled by Bishoo for 22.