Bulawayo: Zimbabwe legspinner Graeme Cremer struck late on day two to end a turgid opening stand and keep the West Indies in check in the second Test at Queens Sports Club on Monday.
A grinding partnership of 76 in 46 overs between Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell had given the West Indies a solid base in their reply to Zimbabwe's 326 all out, before Cremer removed Brathwaite for 32 to send the visitors to stumps on 78 for one.
Zimbabwe's total was built on the back of Hamilton Masakadza's 147 and Sikandar Raza's 80, which saw the hosts bowled out in the hour after lunch.
Brathwaite and Powell ended a run of 18 innings without a fifty partnership as they took the patient approach to batting on a slow, turning surface.
However Zimbabwe fell from 146 for four to 267 for seven when Masakadza top-edged a delivery from legspinner Devendra Bishoo and was caught by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, and Malcolm Waller and Regis Chakabva both departed cheaply.
Sikandar Raza stabilised the innings briefly alongside captain Graeme Cremer, but the West Indies took the second new ball after lunch and needed just 55 deliveries to wrap up the tail.
Raza (80) and Masakadza (147) scored 90 for the fifth wicket before Windies fought back to keep Zimbabwe to 326.
Sikandar Raza was caught at second slip off the bowling of Shannon Gabriel, while Cremer was run out and debutant Tendai Chisoro was trapped lbw by Kemar Roach, who finished with figures of 3 for 44.
The West Indies lead the two-match series 1-0.