Fruitless toil for Windies after Brathwaite's career-best

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Fruitless toil for Windies after Brathwaite's career-best

Saturday, November 28, 2020

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QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (CMC) — West Indies failed to make an early breakthrough against New Zealand “A”, after opener Kraigg Brathwaite hit a career-best double-hundred in their first class tour match yesterday.

The Windies toiled without success for just over an hour but Henry Cooper, not out on 19, and Rachin Ravindra, not out on 22, held firm for 15 overs before stumps were drawn on the second day of the four-day match with the Blackcaps' reserves 45 without loss, in reply to the visitors' first-innings total of 571.

Brathwaite, the most capped batsman in the West Indies Test squad, using the match to prepare for the two-Test series against the Blackcaps' senior team, gave further proof that he may have emerged from the morass that has bedevilled his batting for the past year with a purposeful 246.

It is the highest score for Brathwaite in 160 first class matches, eclipsing his previous best of 212 against Bangladesh in his 24th Test for West Indies six years ago at Arnos Vale Sports Complex in St Vincent.

Coincidentally, his final score is the telephone area code for his native Barbados, which celebrates its 54th anniversary of political independence from Britain this coming Monday, and it will reassure followers of the sport in the island that he may be back to his best.

Jermaine Blackwood, with whom Brathwaite scored a century stand for the fourth wicket, made 53, left-handed all-rounder Raymon Reifer added 46, and Test Captain Jason Holder, wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich and Alzarri Joseph got starts without carrying on to allow the Windies to extend their innings to almost an hour past tea.

Brathwaite and Blackwood comfortably batted through the first hour, after West Indies started the day on 353 for three.

Brathwaite, not out on 183 overnight, reached his double hundred when he drove the 280th ball of his innings from Blair Tickner to long-off for two runs about 10 minutes before the morning drinks break.

After drinks, Blackwood, not out on 19 overnight, reached his 50 from 79 balls with a single to long-on off New Zealand “A” Captain Cole McConchie, plying his uncomplicated off-spin.

Blackwood added 107 for the fourth wicket with Brathwaite before he was bowled by Ravindra, bowling left-arm spin, in the first half-hour after the break.

Dowrich came to the crease and with Brathwaite carried West Indies to 463 for four at lunch before they were both dismissed in the first hour after the interval.

Dowrich was bowled behind his legs for 23 by Ben Sears, and Brathwaite's near 10-hour-long stay at the crease that included 17 fours and one six came to a close, when he miscued a pull at his 400th ball and was caught at midwicket off Michael Rae.

Holder carried West Indies past 500 with Reifer before he was caught at long-on off McConchie, who also bowled Rahkeem Cornwall for a duck five balls later in the same over.

West Indies were 512 for nine but Joseph joined Reifer and they shared 53 for the ninth wicket either side of carrying the visitors to 529 for eight at tea.

After the break the two Windies pacers continued to indulge themselves until Joseph was run out for 22 in a mix-up going for a single and Reifer was caught at long-off from a lofted drive off McConchie, whose three for 130 from 36.1 overs was the best figure for the Blackcaps' reserves.

The first Test between New Zealand and West Indies starts on Thursday, December 3 at Seddon Park in Hamilton, and the second Test begins on Friday, December 11, at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.


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