Mehluli Sibanda in BULAWAYO
THE West Indies have arrived in Bulawayo for their two-Test cricket battles against Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club, a contest which gets underway next Saturday. The Calypso Kings touched down at the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport at midday yesterday with a delegation of 15 players and 11 officials. After hours of travelling, the tourists took the afternoon off to recuperate and will only start training today at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
A three-day warm-up match has been arranged for West Indies against Zimbabwe A at BAC, which gets underway on Sunday. The first Test runs from 21 to 25 October while the second is scheduled for 29 October to 2 November. It is the Jason Holder-led West Indies’ second tour of Zimbabwe in less than a year. In November last year, the Caribbean side was in the country for a One-Day International a triangular series which also featured Sri Lanka. During that ODI series, Zimbabwe and West Indies were involved in a tie before the home team took the last match between the two teams by five runs through the Duckworth and Lewis Method.
That result qualified Zimbabwe for the final where they lost by six wickets. Meanwhile, a three-day practice match between the bulk of the national team players and Bulawayo Metropolitan Tuskers started at Queens yesterday. Former national team captain Brendan Taylor did not get enough time in the middle as he was dismissed for just one run after being caught and bowled by pace bowler Luke Jongwe.
Another player who recently committed to playing for Zimbabwe, Kyle Jarvis made 14 runs as Zimbabwe declared their first innings on 289 for the loss of eight wickets in 70 overs. Christopher Mpofu had some fun in the middle as he hit four sixes in one over bowled by his Tuskers teammate, off spinner John Nyumbu, to finish unbeaten on 25 off 15 deliveries.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wicketkeeper), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.