Shane Shillingford grabbed another five wicket haul to bowl West Indies to a second successive test win over Zimbabwe but this time in front of a delirious home town crowd in Dominica on Friday.
The tall spinner again wreaked havoc with five wickets for 34 as West Indies won by an innings and 65 runs inside three days with Zimbabwe bowled out for 141 in their second innings, well short of forcing the home side to bat again.
Zimbabwe, beaten by nine wickets in last week’s first test in Barbados, offered little resistance after being asked to bat at the start of the third day in Roseau still 206 runs behind the West Indies who declared on the overnight total of 381 for eight.
A regular procession of wickets emphasised the gulf in class between the two sides as Zimbabwe had no answer to the turns and bounce of Shillingford in the final match of the series.
They otherwise gave away their wickets cheaply to part time bowlers like Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels.
Zimbabwe were bowled out some 30 minutes before tea, just exceeding the post-lunch defeat they suffered on the third day of the first test in Bridgetown.
The 30-year-old Shillingford, whose image was plastered all over posters and t-shirts at Windsor Park on his home island, took 19 wickets to be named man of the series – easily beating the record West Indian wicket haul for a two-test series set by Courtney Walsh in New Zealand in 1995.
Shillingford also took five wickets in the first innings.
Zimbabwe’s second innings collapse came soon after he entered the fray to deliver a consistent diet of balls that darted around the crease and left the inexperienced batsmen looking bewildered. Only opener Vusi Sibanda stuck it out but surrendered his wicket for 35.
“The wicket was a bit slower but the bounce a bit more consistent but we had a plan we kept to and it paid off,” Shillingford said as he also accepted the man of the match award.
For Zimbabwe the series was an eye-opening return to the test arena after a 14-month hiatus. But they showed little improvement from the side thrashed by New Zealand last year when they lost a one-off test in Napier by an innings and 301 runs.
It contrasts with the upturn in West Indies’ fortunes as they registered a sixth successive win for the first time since 1988 and showed that their traditional reliance on pace bowling may be a thing of the past.
“We desperately wanted to get to this landmark and a lot of different people played differing key roles for the team’s success,” said captain Sammy.