BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (CMC):
CAPTAIN KRAIGG Brathwaite struck a composed hundred to extend his prolific form and lead a healthy West Indies batting effort on the opening day of their four-day tour match against a Zimbabwe XI yesterday.
Sent in at the Bulawayo Athletic Club, the Caribbean side finished on 313 for five with the right-handed Brathwaite carving out 116 before retiring.
He faced 170 balls in a shade over four hours and counted 10 fours.
His enterprising left-handed opening partner, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, and Kyle Mayers, struck 46, while Devon Thomas gathered a breezy unbeaten 42 towards the end.
“Obviously, it was good to get a score,” Brathwaite said afterward.
“The pitch was a bit slow, it wasn’t bouncing that much but it was still a decent pitch to bat on once you looked to play as straight as possible. It was good to see we batted the entire day.”
Recently named in the ICC Test Team of the Year after averaging 62 in seven Tests last year, Brathwaite once against shone, putting on 137 for the first wicket with Chanderpaul, who struck half-dozen fours in a knock comprising 134 balls in just under three hours.
87 WITHOUT LOSS
They carried West Indies to lunch at 87 without loss and dominated most of the second session before Chanderpaul perished 15 balls before tea, edging behind off a full-length delivery from seamer Tanaka Chivanga.
When Brathwaite finally retired at tea, he had put on 58 of the eventual 62 runs for the second wicket with left-handed Raymon Reifer (23) but his replacement Nkrumah Bonner perished cheaply for three in the first over following the resumption.
Reifer followed in the next over, beaten and bowled by 22-year-old leg-spinner Priviledge Chesa without an addition to the score at 199 for three before Mayers anchored two key stands to prop up the innings.
First, he added 41 for the fourth wicket with Jermaine Blackwood (17) and then put on a further 55 for the fifth wicket with Thomas, whose knock required only 54 deliveries and included a half-dozen fours.
Mayers had counted seven fours off 63 balls and was eyeing a well-deserved fifty when he was bowled by Test pacer Donald Tiripano, about a half-hour before the close.