At the start of the third day's play in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe still had an outside chance of clawing their way back into the game. By the time they trudged off in the afternoon, Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase had nearly batted them out of the match.
The West Indies' innings was bookended by contrasting knocks from the two batsmen. Brathwaite, shuffling across and looking to nurdle the ball into the leg side, built his 230-ball 86 on patience and defence, while Chase was enterprising from the start, bringing up his half-century off just 69 balls.
"I thought Kraigg played a really good innings," Chase said after play. "He wore down the bowlers for the other batsmen to come so that when we got out there they weren't as fresh. That didn't allow them to be as consistent as they wanted to be. Going in, my plan was to be aggressive towards the bowlers, to get the field changed around a bit and get some of the catchers from nearby away from the bat, to make it easier for me to play my natural game.
"I found that (Sean) Williams was getting it to rag a bit. I found (Greame) Cremer couldn't find his line and length today like he did in the first innings, which made it a little easier for me. When (Kyle) Jarvis came back with the older ball, he got it to do a bit so I didn't want to expose (Devendra) Bishoo too early to him."
West Indies went on the charge after tea, scoring 125 runs in the last two hours. Jason Holder, the captain, kicked things off with two fours and a six before Chase combined with Bishoo to add 92 for the eighth wicket. "It started from me and the skipper," Chase said. "We both said we were going to counter-attack to put the pressure back onto the bowlers since we had a sizeable lead already. We were just looking for some quick runs, which came off and allowed Bishoo to bat normally."
There are still two days left in this Test, and though the pitch is offering spin and reverse swing, Chase expected the hosts to make more of a fist of things in their second innings in an effort to save the match.
"It's not going to be easy," Chase said. "We fought back in our second innings batting and they will look to do the same. The Zimbabwe players are probably going to put their heads down a little more so it may take more overs to get the job done, which may mean I'll be needed to give the fast bowlers a rest. Bishoo will be key for us. He bowled really well in the first innings and set the tone for us, so hopefully he can do it again in the second innings."