Kraigg Brathwaite’s second Test hundred was the foundation-stone of a formidable West Indies batting effort as the home side closed a rain-affected first day of the first Test against Bangladesh here at 264 for three.
On a day when the tourists relied heavily on debutant spinners Taijul Islam and Shuvagata Hom on a placid pitch at the Arnos Vale Stadium in St Vincent, Brathwaite’s unbeaten 123 off 269 deliveries (eight fours) reflected the 21-year-old’s unflappability in almost any circumstances.
The rookie opener put on 116 for the first wicket with Chris Gayle (64) to make Mushfiqur Rahim regret his decision to put the West Indies in to bat on winning the toss at the start of the day. Inevitably, the phlegmatic Barbadian faded into anonymity compared to his big-hitting opening partner, who counted 10 fours and one six in his innings before he fell just after the lunch interval.
Darren Bravo joined in the steady accumulation of runs following the comparatively swift dismissal of Kirk Edwards, contributing 62 to a 128-run third-wicket partnership before a careless off-drive off Taijul offered a simple catch to Mahmudullah at mid-off. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who took 183 off the Bangladeshis playing for a St Kitts Invitational XI in a three-day match in Basseterre the previous weekend, will resume on the second morning with Brathwaite after the heaviest, most sustained rainfall of the day brought an early end to play.
Through his five-and-a-half-hour occupation of the crease so far, the stodgy right-hander once more displayed vast reserves of patience and concentration in keeping with the celebrated qualities and reputation of the 40-year-old with whom he will resume the innings on the second morning, weather permitting.
Brief scores: West Indies 264/3 in 87 overs (C Gayle 64, K Brathwaite 123 n.o., D Bravo 62) vs Bangladesh.