Gritty Brathwaite leads fightback as Windies take slim lead after Day 2 in Kingston Test - GulfToday

Gritty Brathwaite leads fightback as Windies take slim lead after Day 2 in Kingston Test


Kraigg Brathwaite of the West Indies plays a shot during their first Test match against Pakistan at Sabina Park in Kingston. Agence France-Presse

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite was run out for 97 after a 96-run partnership with former captain Jason Holder which helped guide the West Indies to a first-innings lead over Pakistan on the second day of the first Test.

Brathwaite turned a ball to fine leg and was attempting a second run when he was beaten by Hasan Ali’s direct hit at the keeper’s end, falling just short of a 10th test century. The West Indies were 221-7 when his wicket fell Friday, already ahead of Pakistan’s first innings of 217.

Holder was out earlier for 58. The West Indies began the day at 2-2 and were 251-8, a lead of 34, when stumps were drawn early due to bad light. Joshua da Silva was 20 not out.

The West Indies had been in trouble when they lost Kieran Powell and Nkrumah Bonner to consecutive deliveries from Mohammad Abbas near stumps on day one.

Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood steadied the innings at the start of the second day, putting on 49 for the third wicket before Chase, on 21, was caught behind by Mohammad Rizwan from the bowling of Hasan Ali.

Blackwood carried on, making 22 and helping the West Indies to 100 before he was caught by Abbas at mid-on from the bowling of Shahid Afridi.

Kyle Mayers fell next ball to Afridi, leaving the West Indies 100-5 and putting pressure on Brathwaite and Holder to rebuild the innings in the face of accurate bowling from Pakistan.

“The key was to be tight,” Brathwaite said. “They were really testing our patience and while we committed to putting away the bad balls, it was about letting them come to us.

“We stayed in that bubble for long periods and it helped us. I’ve played a lot of cricket with Jason. We just kept encouraging ourselves and we just stuck at it because we knew they were bowling well and we just buckled down and put away the bad balls when they came.”

Holder reached his half century from 95 balls with nine fours and was looking solid when he reached forward to a full ball from Faheem Ashraf which nipped away late, took a faint edge and carried to Rizwan. The umpires kept Holder at the crease while they established it was not a no-ball and Holder left with the West Indies at 196-6.

Brathwaite defied the Pakistan bowlers for just over six hours before he misjudged the chance of a second run. He said he was committed early to go for two and realized he’d made an error when he turned and saw the ball in the fielder’s hand.

“Obviously I’m not feeling too good,” Brathwaite said.

“From a team point of view I wanted to be there at (stumps) but obviously it was a misjudgement from me.”

Brathwaite’s innings still marked an important return to form. While he made 126 and 85 in the second test against Sri Lanka in March, he managed only 28 runs in four innings in two subsequent tests against South Africa.

He said he’d worked hard on his game since, concentrating on his balance which allowed him to defend better and to play with more authority through the off-side.

After Brathwaite’s dismissal, Da Silva stuck around until stumps were drawn to give the West Indies hope of an enlarged lead in conditions which are favoring fast bowlers.

Abbas had 3-42 at stumps and Afridi’s figures were 2-59.


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