| West Indies captain Brian Lara celebrates with teammates Fidel Edwards (left) and Jerome Taylor after beating Zimbabwe in the second Test for the Clive Lloyd Trophy on Sunday. (Reuters)
Bulawayo: Brian Lara celebrated his first win in an away Test as West Indies captain when his team beat Zimbabwe by 128 runs eight overs into the fifth day of the second and final Test on Sunday.
Lara has captained the West Indies in 26 Tests, winning nine, drawing four and losing 13. Hosts Zimbabwe, who were chasing 233 for victory, resumed their second innings on 90 for nine and were quickly dismissed for 104.
The West Indies won the two-match series 1-0 after narrowly escaping with a draw in Harare.
Lara said the victory would serve as good preparation for the tour to South Africa which starts next month.
“A lot of people will say that Zimbabwe are one of the minnows of world cricket but I thought the 11 guys who played 10 days of Test cricket against us were very determined,” said Lara, who scored a matchwinning 191 in the first innings.
“It was a good workout for us going into the series against South Africa.”
The result marked a dramatic turnaround for the visitors, who snatched a draw in the first Test only after their last pair hung on for 11.5 overs to deny Zimbabwe victory.
“The Zimbabweans were very confident after the first Test, they knew that they could have beaten us,” said Lara. “But it was always going to be a tall order chasing over 200 on this pitch.”
Fast bowler Merv Dillon ended the match when he bowled Blessing Mahwire for four.
Mahwire had narrowly escaped being dismissed by the fifth ball he faced on Sunday, which slipped through his guard and rolled against his wicket without dislodging a bail.
Captain Heath Streak finished as top-scorer with an unbeaten 33 but was disappointed with the outcome, especially as his bowlers had restricted the West Indies to 128 in the second innings. The five-match ODI series starts on Saturday. The first Test versus South Africa begins on December 12 in Johannesburg.