West Indies bat first in opener, Ballance debuts for Zimbabwe

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By Associated Press

BULAWAYO: West Indies won the toss and will bat first in the opening test against Zimbabwe on Saturday.

The teams will contest a two-match series, both in Bulawayo.

West Indies selected left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie for the opening test. There was no recall for 34-year-old seamer Shannon Gabriel. Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph and Kemar Roach are the three fast bowlers.

Zimbabwe gave former England batter Gary Ballance his test debut. Ballance has returned to his country of birth after representing England in 24 tests, the last of which came in 2017.

Four other players make their test debuts for Zimbabwe: Batters Innocent Kaia and Tanunurwa Makoni, wicketkeeper Tafadza Tsiga and allrounder Brad Evans.

Zimbabwe is captained by Craig Ervine with regular test skipper Sean Williams out with injury.

West Indies lost 2-0 in Australia in its last series in December and interim coach Andre Coley is in charge of the team for the first time.

Zimbabwe hasn’t played test cricket in 18 months since losing a one-off match at home to Bangladesh in July 2021.


Zimbabwe: Innocent Kaia, Tanunurwa Makoni, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine (captain), Gary Ballance, Tafadzwa Tsiga, Brandon Mavuta, Wellington Masakadza, Brad Evans, Victor Nyauchi, Richard Ngarava.

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Kemar Roach.