| Brian Lara, unbeaten on 77, is leading from the front
Bulawayo: Brian Lara scored a brisk half-century to keep West Indies in control after the first day of the second Test against Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
The West Indian captain, who won the toss and opted to bat first, was batting on 77 and his team 282 for three when bad light and rain ended play seven overs after tea.
Lara had struck 12 fours in 92 balls, sharing in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 121 with Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was at the crease on 46.
The visitors needed Lara’s assurance after left-arm spinner Ray Price, who claimed match figures of 10 for 162 in the drawn first Test in Harare, snapped up two wickets after lunch.
Openers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds (81) made the most of the ideal batting conditions, adding 57 runs in the 14 overs before the drinks break midway through the first session.
The Zimbabwean bowlers obtained minimal but slow movement off the seam and they were offered no movement in the air.
Pacemen Heath Streak, Andy Blignaut and Blessing Mahwire bowled 18 overs between them without making an impression before Price was introduced to the attack.
The spinner, however, also struggled to trouble the batsmen initially and, in his third over, Hinds hit him for a straight six and a four off consecutive deliveries.
Blignaut got the breakthrough for the home side 25 minutes before lunch when he had Gayle caught behind by wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu for 47.
Hinds and Daren Ganga guided West Indies to the interval on 104 for one, but Price removed both batsmen in consecutive overs early in the afternoon session.
In the ninth over after lunch, Ganga heaved a delivery to Stuart Matsikenyeri at deep mid-wicket to be dismissed for 23.
Two overs later Hinds, who had reached his half-century with a six over long-on off Price three balls after lunch, strode down the pitch and was easily stumped.