Record-breaking Motie spins West Indies to series victory over Zimbabwe

SUMMARY: Zimbabwe 115 all out from 40.5 overs (Innocent Kaia 38; Gudakesh Motie 7-37, Jason Holder 2-18) and 173 all out from 47.3 overs (Craig Evans 72, Innocent Kaia 43; Gudakesh Motie 6-62) vs West Indies 292 all out from 92.3 overs (Roston Chase 70, Raymon Reifer 53, Joshua Da Silva 44, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 36; Victor Nyauchi 5-56, Brandon Mavuta 3-73)

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Gudakesh Motie spun West Indies to a 1-0 series win as they wrapped up the second Test against Zimbabwe by an innings and four runs.

Motie, playing his third Test, returned figures of 7-37 and 6-62 as West Indies won the match convincingly inside three days, despite rain wiping out large durations on the second and third days.

His figures of 13-99 are also the best in a Test match by a West Indies spinner, as he went past Sonny Ramadhin’s 11-152 against England in 1950.

Despite good performances by Victor NyauchiInnocent Kaia and captain Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe succumbed to a big defeat, with their batting line-up faltering in the absence of Gary Ballance, who missed the game due to a migraine headache.

Play started late on day three due to a wet outfield and once it did, Nyauchi made an instant impact, getting Jason Holder to nick off with the first delivery of the day.

Motie, the other overnight batter, soon became Nyauchi’s fifth victim as he found deep midwicket with a pull as West Indies added just two runs to their total, taking a 177-run lead. It was Nyauchi’s first five-wicket haul in Tests.

For the second time in the match, Kaia was off the blocks quickly, hitting three fine strokes for boundaries in the first two overs. But Alzarri Joseph gave West Indies the first breakthrough in the third over as Tanunurwa Makoni edged behind, looking to play an expansive drive.

Gudakesh Motie celebrates one of his 13 wickets in the game

Then, the first bowling change brought a wicket, with Chamu Chibhabha chopping on off Holder’s bowling in the seventh over.

Kaia, Zimbabwe’s best batter in the first innings, continued to chip away at West Indies’ lead, even hitting Holder for three consecutive boundaries.

Ervine held down one end as Kaia scored 30 of the 41 runs that they made for the third wicket.

When Motie came out to bowl, Kaia immediately started attacking him with the sweep, but looked less in control than he was against the pacers. Kaia and Ervine saw Zimbabwe reach lunch at 46-2. In the third over after lunch, Kaia finally fell to the sweep, as he got a thin top edge that Joshua Da Silva held on to after a small juggling act.

He fell seven runs short of a half-century, after being dismissed for 38 in the first innings.

Ervine then shed his defensive approach to keep the scoreboard ticking, even as Motie castled Milton Shumba and Tafadzwa Tsiga in quick succession to complete his first Test 10-wicket haul.

Gabriel further dented Zimbabwe’s ambitions when he got one to sneak under Donald Tiripano’s bat to uproot the off-stump.

Ervine then brought up his half-century off 73 deliveries with a reverse-sweep off Motie.

Motie soon struck again as Wellington Masakadza gifted a simple catch to forward short leg as he came out of the crease to defend.

West Indies would have hoped to wrap things up quickly, but Ervine and Brandon Mavuta held firm to see Zimbabwe reach 158-7 at tea, with the deficit whittled down to 19 runs.

Zimbabwe then took seven off the first over after tea, bowled by Joseph, to bring the deficit down to 11 runs. But Chase had Mavuta caught at forward short leg with the first ball of the next over to give West Indies another opening.

Motie came back into the attack immediately and was quick to wrap the game up.

He trapped Ervine lbw for 72 – Zimbabwe’s highest score in the match – as he played back to a length ball that spun in and stayed low before getting the ball to spin past an advancing Nyauchi for Da Silva to complete a simple stumping. (ESPNcricinfo)

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