BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Marlon Samuels lit up Kensington Oval with another felicitous 50, but Zimbabwe had the last laugh on the stroke of the interval to leave the West Indies at five for 144 at lunch on the second day of the first Test in Barbados yesterday.
Replying to the visitors' first innings total of 211, the home side lost Darren Bravo to a catch at the wicket off Kyle Jarvis in the first hour, giving the opening bowler his third wicket.
However, Samuels joined fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle and the pair proceeded to accelerate the scoring with a succession of boundaries, forcing Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor to ring the changes in pursuit of a breakthrough.
It eventually came with the first delivery after the drinks break, a lifting delivery from Tendai Chatara taking the glove of Gayle (40) and giving the debutant seamer his first Test wicket via a simple catch at second slip by the captain.
But Samuels continued to flow along effortlessly, dominating a 63-run partnership with Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
He brought up his 18th Test half-century just before the interval but perished in the last over to the break, driving loosely at Hamilton Masakadza to be caught behind for and give Zimbabwe hope into the afternoon, even with Chanderpaul set to resume on 25.