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Motie spins West Indies to series win over Zimbabwe

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Last updated on 14 Feb 2023 | 04:45 PM
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Motie spins West Indies to series win over Zimbabwe

The 27-year-old's haul of 13/99 is the best ever by a West Indian spinner in Test cricket

Gudakesh Motie took 13 wickets in the match as West Indies beat Zimbabwe by an innings and four runs in the second Test in Bulawayo on Tuesday to win the two-match series 1-0.

Left-arm spinner Motie followed his 7 for 37 in the first innings with 6 for 62 as Zimbabwe slipped to 173 all out in their second innings. The 27-year-old's haul of 13/99 was the best ever by a West Indian spinner in Test cricket, improving on Sonny Ramadhin's 11/152 against England at Lord's in 1950.

Captain Craig Ervine provided the only sustained resistance for the hosts, making a stubborn 72 before being the ninth wicket to fall, leg-before to Motie. It was the fourth tour of the southern Africa country by the West Indies, and each time they have won a two-match Test series 1-0.

In a post-match interview, West Indies captain Kraigg Braithwaite said he was "very proud of the team". "Good to see an all-round performance," he added. "The pressure the pacers created was good to see. The bowlers did a fantastic job."

The tourists now head to South Africa, where they will play two Tests, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals.

Zimbabwe's problems began on the opening day when, after winning the toss and choosing to bat, they were dismissed for a paltry 115.

"Winning the toss, we needed to bat well on the first day," said Ervine, deputising as captain for the injured Sean Williams. "We didn't. And that put us on the back foot from the start."

Zimbabwe had also been hit by other changes courtesy of illness, injuries and franchise commitments -- with former England batter Gary Ballance, who made a century in the drawn first Test, among that absentees.

"Gary Ballance is such an experienced player, he brought stability. He left a big hole in the middle order," said Ervine.

A West Indies reply that spanned three days, partly due to rain delays, ended quickly on Tuesday as they were bowled out for 292, losing their last two wickets for just two more runs to take a lead of 177.

Batting a second time, Zimbabwe were two wickets down with only 15 on the board, Tanunurwa Makoni and Chamu Chibhabha making a single each before being returned to the pavilion.

Opener Innocent Kaia fared better, reaching 43 before being caught by Joshua Da Silva after getting a faint edge to a Motie delivery that moved through the air.

It was left to Ervine, deputising as captain for injured Sean Williams, to hold up the West Indies' surge toward a series success. His runs came off 105 deliveries and included four fours, but Ervine was unable to build any partnerships as Motie worked his way through the line-up.

Brandon Mavuta was the only other batter to reach double figures, making 16 before being the eighth man out, caught at short leg of Roston Chase.

Zimbabwe return to white-ball cricket in March, hosting the Netherlands in a three-match ODI series.

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