St. George’s (Grenada), April 25 : Centurion Kraigg Brathwaite has warned the West Indies are not yet out of the woods, and that it will take a significant effort on Saturday’s final day to avoid defeat in the second Test against England.
The 22-year-old opener fashioned a superb, unbeaten 101 as the West Indies, behind by 165 runs on first innings, reached 202 for two at the close of the penultimate day at the Grenada National Stadium, reports CMC.
With a slim lead of 37 runs, the Windies face a tricky final day, especially with the new ball due in five overs.
“Obviously the first hour will be important and once you get through that, we just have to keep working hard,” said Brathwaite, playing in his 19th Test.
“Obviously the new ball is due so that is going to be a crucial factor in the game but once we work hard in the first hour (we can secure a draw).
It is a lot of work (left to save the game). It’s a full day’s play left so it is important we start back fresh tomorrow as a batting unit and put on a big a lead as possible,” he added.
Resuming the day on 373 for six, England were dismissed for 464 in their first innings, with Joe Root converting his overnight 118 into a magnificent 182 not out.
With about 25 minutes left to negotiate before lunch, the West Indies were in early trouble at three runs for one wicket when left-handed opener Devon Smith was bowled by seamer Jimmy Anderson, dragging on a delivery he was attempting to leave alone.
However, Brathwaite and Darren Bravo, who scored 69, put on 142 for the second wicket before Brathwaite added a further 57 for the third wicket with Marlon Samuels who was unbeaten on 22 at the close.
“We were in a position where England were looking to get wickets and I thought batting-wise we did a good job and obviously it is to continue tomorrow,” Brathwaite said.
“It’s a good pitch. Early on with the new ball, obviously the ball does a bit but once the ball gets soft, it’s nothing much. Obviously it will spin as the ball gets a bit older but it’s a good batting pitch.”
He added: “At the start they were quite aggressive so obviously I had to fight through that period. From there the ball got a bit softer and didn’t do as much but I thought they bowled really well so you had to work right through.”
The three-Test series are up for grabs after the first Test in Antigua last week finished in a stalemate.