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Cricket: West Indies build up healthy lead over Zimbabwe

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

West Indies continued to pile on the pressure against Zimbabwe as they reached 295 for four in reply to Zimbabwe's first innings total of 175 at tea on the second day of the second and final Test.

Veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was grinding his way towards another Test hundred and together with wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin had put on 94 runs in the afternoon session without being separated.

Chanderpaul resumed after the interval on 80 with Ramdin on 58, his fifth Test half-century, their stand worth 114 runs overall so far since coming together at the fall of Chris Gayle for 101 just before lunch.

They will be looking to build on a lead that already stands at 120 with six wickets in hand.

Neither batsman has looked in any serious trouble, even on a Windsor Park pitch offering considerable assistance to the slow bowlers.

Gayle's 15th Test century consolidated the West Indies' dominant position at lunch.

Resuming at 61 overnight with the home side at 114 for two in reply to the visitors' first innings total of 175, the opener carried on to 101 before becoming the first Test wicket for off-spinner Prosper Utseya 20 minutes before the lunch interval via an outstanding catch on the long-off boundary by Kyle Jarvis.

The big left-hander dominated a 67-run fourth-wicket partnership with Chanderpaul as the hosts reached 201 for four at lunch.

Zimbabwe enjoyed immediate success at the start of the day when seamer Tendai Chatara bowled Marlon Samuels with the very first ball of the morning.

That proved to be little more than a momentary stutter for the home side however as Gayle eventually moved into stride while the redoubtable Chanderpaul supported the destructive batsman in his usual understated style.

Approaching the century landmark, Gayle took a particular liking to Utseya, hoisting him for consecutive sixes and then bringing up the hundred in 140 balls with 12 fours and four sixes.

Playing his second Test match, almost nine years after his first, the off-spinner had the last laugh when Jarvis took the excellent catch with Gayle going for another six.

Zimbabwe may yet rue an opportunity to remove Chanderpaul, then on 24, when Hamilton Masakadza was slow to react to a catch at leg-slip off long-suffering leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, who was still looking for his first wicket of the series at that point.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130321/cricket-west-indies-build-healthy-lead-over-zimbabwe