Bulawayo – West Indies off-spinner Gudakesh Motie wreaked havoc in the second Test against depleted Zimbabwe on Sunday in Bulawayo, taking seven wickets to help dismiss the hosts for 115.
In reply, the tourists reached 133 for the loss of four wickets, and gained an 18-run lead, at the close of play with Raymon Reifer top scoring on 53.
After Alzarri Joseph captured the first Zimbabwe wicket and Jason Holder the next two on the opening day, Motie took charge in a devastating 14.5-over spell, claiming seven in a row.
The 27-year-old Guyanese gave up 37 runs while four of his overs were maidens at the Queens Sports Club in the southwestern city.
Zimbabwe suffered a pre-match blow when star batter Gary Ballance was ruled out having failed to fully recover from migraine headaches.
The home team also lacked prolific run-getter Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl, who were released to play franchise cricket in the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh respectively.
Injuries sidelined captain and all-rounder Sean Williams and fast bowlers Blessing Muzarabani and Tendai Chatara.
Severely depleted, Zimbabwe were 70 for the loss of five wickets by lunch with opener Innocent Kaia the only batsman to impress during the first session.
He scored 38, then a thick outside edge proved his undoing as he was caught by first slip Kyle Mayers off Holder.
Craig Ervine made 22 before becoming Motie’s first victim. The captain was trapped leg before by a full delivery he attempted to sweep.
Batting at seven, Donald Tiripano made a defiant unbeaten 23, but none of his partners lasted long against Motie.
The West Indies’ innings began disappointingly with captain and first-Test centurion Kraigg Brathwaite trapped leg before by Wellington Masakadza having scored just seven.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul, the son of former West Indies skipper Shivnarine and a double century maker in the drawn first Test, then added 73 runs for the second wicket with Reifer before he departed after a patiently constructed 36.