ROSEAU- Chris Gayle's 15th Test century consolidated the West Indies' dominant position at lunch on the second day of the second and final test against Zimbabwe at Windsor Park on Thursday.

Resuming at 61 overnight with the home side at 114 for two in reply to the visitors' first innings total of 175, the opener carried on to 101 before becoming the first Test wicket for off-spinner Prosper Utseya 20 minutes before the interval via an outstanding catch on the long-off boundary by Kyle Jarvis.

The big left-hander dominated a 67-run fourth-wicket partnership with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was resuming in the afternoon session on 40 alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin (four not out) with the hosts at 201 for four. Zimbabwe enjoyed immediate success at the start of the day when seamer Tendai Chatara bowled Marlon Samuels with the very first ball of the morning.

That proved to be little more than a momentary stutter for the home side however as Gayle eventually moved into stride while the redoubtable Chanderpaul supported the destructive batsman in his usual understated style. Approaching the century landmark, Gayle took a particular liking to Utseya, hoisting him for consecutive sixes and then bringing up the hundred in 140 balls with 12 fours and four sixes.

Playing his second Test match, almost nine years after his first, the off-spinner had the last laugh when Jarvis took the excellent catch with Gayle going for another six. Zimbabwe may yet rue an opportunity to remove Chanderpaul, then on 24, when Hamilton Masakadza was slow to react to a catch at leg-slip off long-suffering leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, who was still looking for his first wicket of the series at that point.

Earlier, Zimbabwe crumbled yet again to the spin of Shane Shillingford on the first day on Wednesday. Playing in front of his home fans, Shillingford followed up his nine-wicket match haul from the first Test in Barbados the previous week with a haul of five for 59. Marlon Samuels, who claimed his best Test innings figures of four for 13 on the opening day at Kensington Oval, snared three for 15 to bundle out Zimbabwe for just 175. Kyle Jarvis removed Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo in quick succession when the home side replied, but Chris Gayle (61 not out) and Marlon Samuels (26 not out) reasserted the West Indies dominance in an unbroken 79-run third-wicket stand that took their team to the close at 114 for two.

     scoreboard

ZIMBABWE 1ST INNINGS:

T Mawoyo b Gabriel    8

V Sibanda c Roach b Gabriel    32

H Masakadza b Shillingford    14

B Taylor b Shillingford    33

C Ervine lbw Samuels    18

S Williams c Powell b Samuels    31

M Waller c Best b Shillingford    9

G Cremer c Powell b Samuels    0

P Utseya lbw Shillingford    9

K Jarvis not out    1

T. Chatara lbw Shillingford 4

EXTRAS: (10b, 4lb, 1nb, 1w)    16

TOTAL: (all out; 60.5 overs)    175

FOW: 1-42, 2-43, 3-64, 4-105, 5-141, 6-158, 7-158, 8-161, 9-171, 10-175

BOWLING: K Roach 7-0-30-0, T Best 10-0-32-0, S Gabriel 8-6-10-2, D Sammy 5-1-15-0, S Shillingford 21.5-4-59-5, Samuels 9-3-15-3

WEST INDIES 1ST INNINGS:

(OVERNIGHT: 114-2):

C Gayle c Jarvis b Utseya    101

K Powell b Jarvis    24

D Bravo c Taylor b Jarvis    0

M Samuels b Chatara    26

S Chanderpaul not out    40

D Ramdin not out    4

EXTRAS: (b2, lb3, w1)    6

TOTAL: (4 wkts; 58 overs)    201

FOW: 1-35, 2-35, 3-114, 4-181

BOWLING: Jarvis 12-2-49-2, Chatara 13-2-39-1, Masakadza 8-4-22-0, Cremer 16-2-50-0, Utseya 9-3-36-1

TOSS: West Indies

UMPIRES: R Martinesz (SL), T Hill (NZ)

TV UMPIRE: B Oxenford (Aus)

MATCH REFEREE: Jeff Crowe (NZ)