West Indies cruised to an innings and 65-run victory over Zimbabwe to clinch the second and final Test inside three days at Windsor Park on Friday.
After declaring at their overnight position of 381 for eight, and with a first innings lead of 206, the hosts bowled out Zimbabwe for 175 in the afternoon session to claim the series 2-0.
The hosts reduced the visitors to 77 for four at the interval, still 129 runs away from avoiding an innings defeat.
But even with the possibility of a significant rearguard for the rest of the day, defeat seemed inevitable for the Caribbean side’s outclassed opponents with two scheduled days still left to complete the match if necessary.
There was more than a touch of controversy to the fall of the first wicket of the day when two reversals of umpiring decisions in the same over from Tino Best eventually resulted in the dismissal of Hamilton Masakadza.
Initially given out caught at the wicket by umpire Tony Hill, the verdict was reviewed and overturned on the evidence of television replays and consultation with TV umpire Bruce Oxenford.
An aggrieved Best was a much happier man two deliveries later when another appeal for a catch by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin off the same batsman was ruled “not out” by Hill, only for West Indies captain Darren Sammy’s request for a review to be upheld by Oxenford.
In breaking that opening stand of 35, the floodgates opened swiftly with the introduction of Shane Shillingford, the off-spinner lifting his tally in the match to seven in dismissing Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor via a bat-pad catch by Kieran Powell at short-leg.
He then removed debutant Sean Williams who miscued an attempted cut to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at point.
In between, Sammy accounted for Vusi Sibanda by the lbw route, the opener falling for 35 to an injudicious shot that typified the lack of application necessary to offer any significant resistance and stall the West Indies’ pursuit of a sixth consecutive Test victory.
West Indies 381-8 (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 108, Chris Gayle 101, Denesh Ramdin 86; Prosper Utseya 3-60) def. Zimbabwe 175 (Brendan Taylor 33; Shane Shillingford 5-59, Marlon Samuels 3-15, Shannon Gabriel 2-10) and 141 (Vusi Sibanda 35, Malcolm Waller 20, Graeme Cremer 20; Shillingford 5-34, Samuels 3-35)