Cricket: Shillingford puts West Indies on verge of victory

Shane Shillingford destroyed an inept Zimbabwe batting line-up to put the West Indies on the verge of a comprehensive victory at lunch on the third day of the first Test on Thursday.

Picking up from where he left off the previous evening when he took two wickets in two overs, the tall off-spinner added four more victims to finish with innings figures of six for 49 -- and a match analysis of nine for 107 -- as the visitors were routed for 107 in their second innings just before the interval.

Left with the academic task of scoring 12 runs for victory, debutant seamer Tendai Chatara claimed the wicket of Kieran Powell to a catch at gully with the West Indies at nine for one at the break, needing just three more runs on the resumption to complete their fifth consecutive test match victory.

Shillingford wasted no time at the start of the third day, having struggling captain Brendan Taylor caught at short-leg for six.

Kemar Roach then knocked out the middle stump of the other overnight batsman, Ray Price, in the next over to reduce Zimbabwe to 47 for five.

When Malcolm Waller fell to another close-in catch by Powell, his fifth of the match, off Shillingford, it appeared that the West Indies would have completed an innings victory with the score at 58 for six, 38 away from making the home side bat again.

However an unbeaten 23 from Craig Ervine at least ensured that indignity was avoided, and while Shillingford accounted for Regis Chakabva and Graeme Cremer among the lower order, it was left to fast bowler Shannon Gabriel to polish off the innings with the wickets of Kyle Jarvis and Chatara in the space of three deliveries.