Bulawayo: Zimbabwe's spinners sparked a Windies collapse on Day one of the first Test, with the tourists 219 all out in their first innings after being 174-3 on Saturday.
Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer took 4-64 and fellow slow bowler Sean Williams 3-20 as Windies lost their last seven wickets for 45 runs after deciding to bat first at Queens Sports Club.
Shai Hope was 90 not out and denied a century when he ran out of partners. Opener Kieran Powell made 56.
Zimbabwe were 19-0 at stumps, with Solomon Mire hitting two fours and a six and racing to 17 off 18 balls on his debut.
The visitors looked solid with Hope part of partnerships of 75 with Powell and 64 with Roston Chase (31).
But Cremer and Williams found turn and bounce on the pitch in Bulawayo to give Zimbabwe an early advantage in the first of two Tests.
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England, who have not lost a home red-ball series since 2014, were 170-3 in 70 overs when a draw was agreed to leave this two-match contest all square ahead of next week's second Test at Edgbaston.
The paceman led England's attack with 4-75 in the first innings at Lord's and followed up with 3-26 in the second while in between making a useful 42 with the bat.
South Africa will start the third day of the second Test with a healthy advantage of 149 runs.