Rookie Gudakesh Motie notched a record-breaking 13-wicket match haul to spin dominant West Indies to a crushing innings and four-run victory over minnows Zimbabwe in the decisive final Test on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old, in only his third Test, claimed six for 62 to follow up his career-best seven-wicket haul in the first innings as Zimbabwe, trailing by 177 on first innings, collapsed to 173 all out in their second innings, about 15 minutes after tea on the third day of the contest at Queens Sports Club.
Motie finished with Man-of-the-Match figures of 13 for 99 – the best ever by a West Indies spinner in Tests – while surpassing the legendary trio of Sonny Ramadhin, Alf Valentine and Lance Gibbs, all of whom claimed career-best 11-wicket hauls.
The Guyanese, who also earned Man-of-the-Series honours, became the first West Indies left-arm spinner since Valentine 60 years ago to take 10 wickets in a Test.
With the victory, West Indies earned a 1-0 series result, to keep intact their record of having never lost a Test to the African nation.
Resuming the morning on 290 for eight, the Caribbean side managed to add just a further two runs, the innings lasting only 11 more deliveries.
Jason Holder (3) edged the very first ball of the day from seamer Victor Nyauchi (5-56) to be caught at the wicket and Motie holed out in the bowler’s next over for 12, to leave the 30-year-old with his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.
Armed with a handy lead, West Indies pressed home their advantage when seamer Alzarri Joseph induced Tanunurwa Makoni (1) to nick a drive behind and Holder got Chamu Chibhabha (1) to play on at 15 for two.
Captain Craig Ervine then came to his side’s rescue with a defiant 72 while opener Innocent Kaia counter-attacked in a breezy 43 from 57 balls, the pair taking Zimbabwe to lunch on 46 for two, during a stand of 41 for the third wicket.
The 37-year-old Ervine struck four fours off 105 balls in just over two hours and 45 minutes at the crease while Kaia hammered seven fours, including three in a row in one over from Holder.
Motie broke the stand in the third over after lunch when Kaia feathered a sweep to wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva and he claimed his second wicket when he drew Milton Shumba down and bowled him for seven, after the left-hander put on 32 for the fourth wicket with Ervine.
With Motie at the forefront, Zimbabwe lost four wickets for 46 runs to tumble to 132 for seven before Ervine found an ally in Brandon Mavuta (16) with whom he added 34 for the eighth wicket, rallying the hosts to tea on 158 for seven.
However, things fell apart quickly following the resumption. Mavuta squeezed a forward defensive stroke to Raymon Reifer at short leg off off-spinner Roston Chase in the second over and Motie mopped up in the next over with the wickets of Ervine and Nyauchi.
Ervine’s resistance ended when he played back and across and was lbw and Nyauchi (2) missed a heave and was stumped by Da Silva.