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12-Mar-2013 05:05:00 GMT
West Indies v Zimbabwe, 1st Test, Barbados

Zimbabwe Seek First Win in West Indies

Bridgetown: Zimbabwe's stuttering return to Test cricket continues in Barbados on Tuesday when they start their first series in more than seven years against West Indies.

Zimbabwe ended a six-year hiatus from Test cricket two years ago but have played just four single Tests over the last 19 months, leaving them with sparse experience ahead of the Caribbean trip.

The two-Test series against the Windies is their first since India toured Zimbabwe in September 2005 after which a player dispute over political interference led to a rapid decline in their fortunes.

The opening encounter in Bridgetown is followed by a second Test in Dominica, starting on March 20.

It is the last for Zimbabwe under coach Alan Butcher, who departs his post after the trip, leaving the team's future direction unclear.

Captain Brendan Taylor was critical last month of a decision to leave home several key support staff from the tour party, including batting coach Grant Flower and bowling coach Heath Streak.

Marlon Samuels returns for the West Indies after a two-month injury break and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who debuted at Lords last year, has been recalled.

Off-spinner Sunil Narine has been replaced by Shane Shillingford in their 13-man squad.

The West Indies registered a whitewash in three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches against Zimbabwe over the last three weeks.

The West Indies batting is slowly beginning to acquire a settled look, with three senior batsmen in the top five and two promising youngsters in Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo as the other two specialists.

Teams from:

West Indies:
Darren Sammy (captain), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Bravo, Narsingh Deonarine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Tino Best, Shannon Gabriel, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford

Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain & wk), Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Hamilton Masakadza, Keegan Meth, Vusi Sibanda, Malcolm Waller, Kyle Jarvis, Tino Mawoyo, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Ray Price, Sean Williams, Graeme Cremer, Timycen Maruma

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies didn't lose a single Test at the Kensington Oval between 1935 and 1994.
  • There have only been six Tests so far between the two sides, with West Indies winning four and the other two being drawn.
  • With 23 wickets, Ray Price is the most successful bowler in Tests between West Indies and Zimbabwe.
  • Zimbabwe's first Test in more than a year

Match facts
March 12-16, 2013
Start time 1000 local (1400 GMT)

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