Taibu's Test best lifts Zimbabwe
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Taibu's Test best lifts Zimbabwe

Tatenda Taibu struck a career best unbeaten 75 to lift Zimbabwe to 284 for six on the first day of the first Test against West Indies.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2003 21:54 IST

Wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu struck a career best unbeaten 75 to lift Zimbabwe to 284 for six on the first day of the first Test against West Indies on Tuesday.

Taibu, who scored his second test half-century, and Heath Streak, 16 not out, shared an unbroken partnership of 51 to help the hosts recover after losing wickets at regular intervals after winning the toss.

Fast bowler Fidel Edwards was the pick of the West Indies attack with figures of three for 73 from 17 overs on a hot, humid day on a pitch offering little encouragement to the seamers.

Zimbabwe's troubles were largely self-inflicted, with five batsmen chasing wide deliveries and falling to catches by wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs or Brian Lara at first slip.

The best of the batting came in a sixth-wicket stand of 79 between debutant Stuart Matsikenyeri, who scored 57, and Taibu.

Zimbabwe should have capitalised on the inconsistent line bowled by the West Indies attack but their batsmen succumbed to soft dismissals.

Debutant Vusimuzi Sibanda edged two fours before finding the middle of his bat in the sixth over when he hit Edwards through square leg and the covers for consecutive fours.

But he snicked the next ball, an expansive drive, to Jacobs to be caught behind for 18.

Trevor Gripper and Mark Vermeulen tried to consolidate, but in the 10th over Vermeulen, on eight, was tucked up by a rising leg side delivery from Edwards and sent a looping catch to Wavell Hinds at short leg.

Five overs later Zimbabwe slipped to 58 for three when Stuart Carlisle drove recklessly at a wide delivery from fast bowler Corey Collymore and was caught by Lara for eight.

It would have been 69 for four shortly before lunch if Chris Gayle at second slip had held a dipping chance offered by Craig Wishart, on six, off Edwards.

Gripper's patience stood out in the face of his team mates' lack of it, but in the eighth over after lunch he edged fast bowler Jerome Taylor to first slip for 41.

Wishart was in fluent form and stroked six boundaries in his 47, but his rash drive off medium pacer Hinds midway through the second session flew straight to Jacobs.

Matsikenyeri and Taibu kept the West Indians at bay until half-an-hour after tea by taking on the bowlers and defending well when they needed to.

Their partnership ended when Matsikenyeri flashed outside the off-stump at Edwards to be caught behind. He faced 86 balls and hit eight fours and a six.

The tourists suffered a setback when Taylor left the field during his 10th over with a leg muscle strain.


First Published: Nov 04, 2003 15:04 IST