Bridgetown: Offspinner Shane Shillingford grabbed 6 for 49 as West Indies coasted to a nine-wicket victory against Zimbabwe just after lunch on the third day Thursday of the first cricket Test at Kensington Oval.
Shillingford's career-best haul gave him match figures of 9 for 107 and helped to rout Zimbabwe for 107 after the visitors resumed their second innings on 41 for 3. Shannon Gabriel grabbed 3 for 10 while fellow fast bowler Kemar Roach took 1 for 12.
Left-hander Craig Ervine provided the only real resistance with 23 not out off 69 balls with three fours. The hosts, left needing 12 to win, lost Kieran Powell cheaply to Tendai Chatara and although they couldn't complete the task before lunch, victory was achieved 12 balls into the second session.
Opener Chris Gayle hit the winning runs and ended 4 not out. Darren Bravo was unbeaten on 1. The victory was the fifth in a row for West Indies, the longest streak since the all-conquering team of the 1980s won seven in succession in 1988.
West Indies swept New Zealand in two Tests in the Caribbean last July-August before winning twice in Bangladesh late last year. "We did exactly what we wanted to do, which was win our fifth Test match in a row. Credit to the team with the way they came out and played," captain Darren Sammy said. "We had a man of the match in Shillingford but I think everybody played their part really well."
Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor said his team's batting collapse on the first day, when they slumped from 100 for 2 to 211 all out, was the turning point. "It was tough. We let ourselves down on the first day on the best time to bat. Only getting 200 was disappointing," he said. "There were a few of us that got starts and didn't carry on.
"There are not a lot of positives to take out of the game apart from Kyle Jarvis, who was excellent."
West Indies enjoyed a sensational start to the day when Shillingford dismissed Taylor (6) in the first over. The Zimbabwe captain inside-edged a catch to short leg. Four balls later, it was 47 for 5 when Roach sent the middle stump of nightwatchman Ray Price (7) cartwheeling several meters behind him.
Shillingford continued to torment the batsmen with his sharp turn and bounce and quickly celebrated his fourth wicket when Malcolm Waller (5) prodded to short leg where Powell grasped his fifth catch of the match.
Shillingford, in his ninth Test, soon claimed his second five-wicket haul when Regis Chakabva (6) was bowled as he played down the wrong line of a straighter delivery. Ervine and Graeme Cremer added 20 for the eighth wicket to ensure the home team would have to bat again before Shillingford struck again with bounce. Cremer hit a four and a six in 14 before edging to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin at 97 for 8.
Gabriel returned to polish off the tail, roughing up Jarvis with a few short balls, one smacking him in the ribs, before inducing an edge to Ramdin, and then rattling the stumps of Chatara, who was backpedalling towards square leg,
Chatara did get some measure of consolation when he removed Powell (6) to a catch in the gully off the outside edge as West Indies chased 12. The hosts could not complete the job in three overs before the break but got home comfortably under sunny skies after the break.