The Report by Mohammad Isam
Kraigg Brathwaite’s second consecutive century helped West Indies establish early dominance on the opening day’s play in Kingston. West Indies went to stumps comfortably-placed at 295 for 4, having accumulated runs at 4.85 per over in the post-tea session: a significant jump from 2.25 and 2.83 in the first two sessions respectively.
Brathwaite added 109 for the fourth wicket with Shimron Hetmyer, which came on the back of a 79-run third-wicket stand with Shai Hope, and 50 runs for the second wicket with Kieran Powell. Hetmyer, who had added 48 for the unbroken fifth-wicket stand with Roston Chase, remained unbeaten on 84 off 98 balls – his second Test fifty.
But the day truly belonged to Brathwaite, who once again stood out for his tenacity. He was equally cautious against left-arm spin, orthodox offspin and pace, without showing any weakness or liking for a particular bowler. Brathwaite nullified Bangladesh’s first long spell of spin through the second session, doggedly defending anything outside his stumps, even as the ball zipped around.
He collected the bulk of his runs on the on-side, with the singles and twos behind the square region a common occurrence. Six of his nine fours also came on the on-side as Bangladesh did well to restrict him from driving freely. But given his boundless patience, Brathwaite still looked at ease. He also ran hard between the wickets, picking up three threes.
Having benefited from Bangladesh’s failure to take a review when he was rapped on the pad on 98, Brathwaite went on to pass Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo as he faced 250-plus deliveries in an innings for the sixth time in his career.
He fell late in the day, trying to hit Mehidy for a second successive boundary through midwicket, only to find Taijul swiftly moving at short midwicket to complete the catch. By then, however, he had neutralized Bangladesh’s early thrust as they unleashed their spinners in the morning.
Summarized scores: West Indies 295 for 4 (Brathwaite 110, Hetmyer 84*, Mehidy 3-90) v Bangladesh