Cricket

Hundred heroes Brathwaite, Hope defy England

Sunday, August 27, 2017

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LEEDS, England (AFP) — Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope scored superb hundreds as the West Indies continued their remarkable turnaround by securing a first-innings lead against England in the second Test at Headingley yesterday.

The West Indies were 329 for five at the close of the second day, 71 runs ahead of England's 258.

Opening batsman Brathwaite (134) and Shai Hope, whose 147 not out was his maiden Test century, put on 246 for the fourth wicket as the West Indies scored more than 300 runs in the day.

The partnership was especially impressive as they came together with the West Indies in trouble at 35 for three after James Anderson had dismissed Kyle Hope, Shai's older brother, to move to within five wickets of becoming the first England bowler to take 500 in Tests.

It was easy then to foresee another West Indies collapse, given they had been skittled out for just 168 and 137 during an innings and 209-run defeat in the day/night series opener at Edgbaston.

But Brathwaite and Shai Hope provided fresh vindication of the faith that West Indies Coach Stuart Law had insisted he retained in a talented if not raw side that had already produced a markedly improved bowling performance to dismiss England for under 300.

“It was good to get the monkey off my back,” Shai Hope told Sky Sports. “The key word for us was 'fight'. We are not coming here to let people run over us.”

Brathwaite added: “I am very happy for him (Hope). Playing here, you know, the ball will do a lot and we said we would do it for the team.”

Brathwaite and Shai Hope's stand made England's decision to drop Toby Roland-Jones look all the more curious, given the third seamer had taken 14 wickets in three Tests at an average of under 20 apiece since making his debut in the preceding 3-1 series victory over South Africa.

Nevertheless, England recalled fit-again all-rounder Chris Woakes in his place.

But Woakes, too, often bowled short and at stumps he had figures of none for 58 in 13 overs.

After the West Indies resumed on 19 for one, Anderson soon dismissed nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo and Kyle Hope on his way to brilliant lunch figures of three for 10 in 12 overs, having removed Kieran Powell on Friday.

But Brathwaite and Shai Hope were rewarded for their watchfulness against Anderson when conditions eased as the sun broke through.

“It was a frustrating day,” Anderson told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.

“We started well but when the sun came out, the pitch got slower.”

He added: “There were too many balls which released the pressure and the two lads who scored hundreds batted really well.”

Brathwaite successfully reviewed lbw decisions on 35 and 46, after getting an inside edge to Stuart Broad and being outside off stump playing a shot to off-spinner Moeen Ali.

The very next ball after Ali's appeal was overturned, Brathwaite drove him for six to go to fifty.

Shai Hope gave a chance on 72 when a whip off Ali flew to short leg, but Mark Stoneman could not hold a tough catch.

Having reached his fifty with a six, Brathwaite went to his hundred with another when he lofted occasional off-spinner Tom Westley's penultimate ball before tea over long on.

It was a stylish way for the 24-year-old to complete his sixth hundred in 39 Tests off 189 balls, also including 13 fours.

Shai Hope reached 99 with a pulled four up on one leg off Ben Stokes — a shot made famous by Barbados and West Indies great Gordon Greenidge.

The next delivery saw the 23-year-old take a single off Stokes that gave him a maiden Test century off 159 balls, including 17 fours.

England eventually broke through with the new ball when Brathwaite's more-than-six-hour innings ended when he was bowled by a Broad delivery that kept low.

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