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Zimbabwe v West Indies 2023

Gudakesh Motie breaks 73-year-old record in his third Test match, takes third-place in West Indies all-time list

Gudakesh Motie debuts against Bangladesh, North Sound, 2022
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

With 7-37 and 6-62 in each innings, Gudakesh Motie spun the West Indies to a Test – and series – win against Zimbabwe in his third Test match appearance. He rewrote several records en route.

After a draw in the first Test match at the Queen’s Sports Club in Bulawayo, the West Indies won the second Test at the same venue to take the two-match series 1-0.

The tourists had taken control on the first day, when Motie (7-37) bowled out Zimbabwe for 115, their second-lowest score against the West Indies on home soil. Their previous lowest was when they were bowled out for 104 in 2003/04.


At 40.5 overs, it was the shortest Test innings for Zimbabwe against the West Indies, home or away. They lasted five balls fewer than the 41.4 overs at Bridgetown in 2012/13.

Motie finished with 7-37, the sixth-best figures by a West Indian spinner. Interestingly, while three of the top five are from 1970/71 or before, the other two – Devendra Bishoo’s 8-49 in 2016/17 and Roston Chase’s 8-60 in 2018/19 – came in the last six years.

This was also the first time a West Indian bowler – spinner or otherwise – took a seven-wicket haul against Zimbabwe. Motie improved on Shane Shillingford’s record of 6-49 from the aforementioned 2012/13 Test match.

The West Indies rode on fifties from Raymon Reifer (53) and Chase (70) to respond with 292 as Victor Nyauchi (5-56) took his maiden five-wicket haul.

Zimbabwe reached 56-2 in response before collapsing to Motie for a second time, for 173. The only resistance came from Innocent Kaia (43) and Craig Ervine (72).

When he took his third wicket, of Tafadzwa Tsiga, Motie became the second West Indian (after Shillingford, who had claimed 10-93) to take a 10-wicket haul against Zimbabwe. He then got Wellington Masakadza to become the first to take 11 wickets in a Test match.

The next wicket, of Ervine, made Motie the first West Indian spinner (and fifth West Indian bowler) to take 12 wickets in a Test. The previous record for best match figures by a spinner was Sonny Ramadhin’s 11-152 against England at Lord’s in the historic 1950 series.

The last wicket, of Nyauchi, took Motie past Andy Roberts’ 12-121 (against India, Madras 1974/75) and Shannon Gabriel’s 13-121 (against Sri Lanka, Gros Islet 2018).

However, Motie’s 13-99 fell short of Courtney Walsh’s 13-55 against New Zealand at Wellington in 1994/95, and of Michael Holding’s 14-149 against England at The Oval in 1976 – the best match figures for the West Indies.

Motie finished the series with 19 wickets, the joint-most by a West Indian in a two-match Test series. Shillingford had also taken 19 wickets against Zimbabwe during the 2012/13 series at home.

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