Monday, April 15, 2024

Brathwaite makes more hay


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KINGSTOWN – Opener Kraigg Brathwaite became the third youngest West Indies batsman to hit a Test double century, as West Indies cautiously made their way through the rain-ravaged second day of the opening Test against Bangladesh yesterday.

Only George Headley (20 years, 308 days) and Sir Garfield Sobers (21 years, 213 days) had reached the milestone at a younger age than Brathwaite (21 years, 277 days).

At the close at Arnos Vale, West Indies were 407 for three with Brathwaite unbeaten on 205 – an innings that has so far consumed over nine hours, 437 balls and included 14 fours. He is the seventh youngest overall to score a double hundred.

Brathwaite was partnered by veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul unbeaten on 51, with the two having already shared 146 for the fourth wicket.

Chanderpaul has faced 177 balls and struck just three fours.

Debutant left-arm spinner Taijul Islam has been the most successful bowler with two for 106.

Only 56 overs were possible, however, after heavy overnight and morning rain forced the abandonment of the first session.

Play finally started at 1:30 p.m. with nearly four hours lost but Brathwaite picked up where he had left off on Friday, with his typically steady approach.

Unbeaten on 123 at the start with the Windies on 264 for three, Brathwaite moved into the 140s with two successive boundaries on either side of the wicket off seamer Rubel Hossain, before reaching 150 for the first time in his career with a swept boundary off off-spinner Shuvagata Hom.

At the end of the first hour, the Windies were 315 for three but Brathwaite and Chanderpaul plodded on trading in singles and twos, as the game drifted.

Brathwaite stroked Rubel down the ground for four in the sixth over after the drinks break, and it proved the only boundary for the remaining eight overs before tea, as West Indies crawled to 344 for three at the break.

On resumption, the monotony was broken temporarily when Brathwaite picked off his 13th four, clipping Taijul to the mid-wicket boundary in the second over after the break but he returned to his shell, content to again work the ball around.

He got into the 190s with two off off-spinner Mahmudullah but then dithered 38 balls before sweeping Mahmudullah square for four to reach his double century.

Chanderpaul, for his part, started positively with a four to third man off the second ball of the day off Rubel before pulling seamer Al-Amin Hossain for four to mid-wicket.

He too, however, was also guilty of being overcautious and meandered to his 64th Test half-century when he pulled Mahmudullah square for a couple late in the day. (CMC)


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