Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo both smashed centuries to put West Indies in control of the second Test against New Zealand in Trinidad on Tuesday.
Brathwaite scored a patient 129 to register his maiden Test hundred while the more aggressive Bravo blasted a rapid 109 to give West Indies a healthy first innings lead at Queen’s Park Oval.
When stumps were drawn on day two, West Indies were cruising along at 310 for five, leading by 89 runs after New Zealand were restricted to 221 on the opening day at Port of Spain.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was unbeaten on four while Kemar Roach was yet to score after the pair came to the crease when Brathwaite and Bravo fell in the last session.
The pair had batted together throughout most of the day, sharing a partnership of 182 after New Zealand picked up two wickets before lunch.
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Tim Southee cleaned up nightwatchman Sulieman Benn for four then legspinner Ish Sodhi removed the dangerous Kirk Edwards, who smashed 55 off just 64 balls.
He dominated a 93-run stand with Brathwaite, belting seven boundaries and three sixes before he edged one to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.
“I thought we bowled pretty well without a lot of reward but to be fair they batted really well with Brathwaite and Bravo both scoring hundreds,” Watling said.
“We’ll come back tomorrow (Wednesday) and look to take five quick wickets and get out there and score some runs and put a target on the board.”
Brathwaite, playing in his 11th Test, brought up his fifth half-century just after lunch before play was delayed because of heavy rain.
The 21-year-old reached his maiden Test hundred after tea off 199 balls after West Indies had taken the first innings lead.
Shortly after, Bravo chalked up his sixth Test century, and his first in the Caribbean, off just 128 deliveries, after getting some tips from world record holder Brian Lara, who, like Bravo, comes from Trinidad.
“It’s something I had in the back of mind before the start of the series and that was probably my most special hundred, especially in front of my family,” Bravo said.
“I was happy that I was able to get another Test hundred under my belt but disappointed at the way I got out.”
The Kiwis finally made the breakthrough in an extended final session. Bravo, whose innings featured 11 boundaries and four sixes, fell with the total on 291, when he holed out after trying to smash a ball from spinner Kane Williamson.
Then Brathwaite went just before stumps, hitting a return catch to medium pacer Trent Boult after batting for more than six hours, facing 258 balls and striking 13 fours.
“Im obviously quite happy, I’ve played 10 Tests so I’m always looking for a hundred,” said Brathwaite.
“The game is still in the balance … but if we get a good lead of about 200-plus that will put us in a good position to win the game.”t