Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

Rain halts West Indies progress against New Zealand

Brathwaite, fresh off a maiden century in Trinidad last week, stroked 10 fours off 116 balls. (Source: AP) Brathwaite, fresh off a maiden century in Trinidad last week, stroked 10 fours off 116 balls. (Source: AP)
Associated Press | Bridgetown | Posted: June 28, 2014 10:35 am

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite hit an enterprising 68 to lead a positive West Indies batting display against New Zealand on Friday but persistent rain soon after lunch cut the hosts short on day two of the third Test.

West Indies, overnight 32-0, had powered to 169-2 at Kensington Oval in reply to New Zealand’s first day total of 293 when steady showers arrived 20 minutes into the second session. Play was eventually abandoned with only 33.2 overs possible on the day.

Brathwaite, fresh off a maiden century in Trinidad last week, stroked 10 fours off 116 balls.

The 21-year-old batsman got assistance from veteran opener Chris Gayle, who characteristically slammed six fours and a six in 42 off 53 balls, and Kirk Edwards, who was unbeaten on 42.

Edwards counted four fours and a six as he closed in on a second successive half century.

Brathwaite and Gayle stretched their overnight first wicket partnership to 79 with some forthright batting.

Off-spinner Mark Craig finally broke through for the Kiwis midway through the morning when Gayle, the big Jamaican left-hander, holed out to long-off. Hamish Rutherford pouched a well-judged catch.

New Zealand’s joy was short-lived as Brathwaite and Edwards – two Barbadians in front of home fans – shared a second wicket stand of 74 in an hour.

But just as the home team was taking full control, recalled pacer Neil Wagner snared Brathwaite into a loose drive 10 minutes before lunch. Tim Southee took a two-handed diving catch to his left at extra cover.

Only 5.2 overs were possible after lunch before the rain arrived. Edwards was eight away from his half century while left-hander Darren Bravo was undefeated on 8.

Left-arm seamer Wagner took 1-11 while Craig ended with 1-63 off 13 expensive overs.

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