St. George’s (Grenada), April 25 : Opener Kraigg Brathwaite fashioned an outstanding, unbeaten 100 that headlined a strong West Indies resistance, shackled England’s zeal and set up a riveting final day of the second Test on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, with just 18 Tests and a little over three years of international cricket under his belt, carved out 101 – his fourth Test century – as the West Indies finished Friday’s penultimate day at the Grenada National Stadium on an impressive 202 for two, reports CMC.
Brathwaite, who has faced 230 deliveries and counted 12 fours in just under five hours, was partnered at the close by the experienced Marlon Samuels on 22, with the West Indies 37 runs in front with three tricky sessions left on the final day.
The pair have so far put on 57 for the third wicket, a partnership that followed on the heels of a 142-run, second-wicket stand between Brathwaite and left-handed Darren Bravo, who gathered an attractive 69.
Both partnerships pulled the West Indies around from a dodgy position of three for one in a testing period before lunch, when they lost Devon Smith cheaply for two.
England had earlier garnered a first innings lead of 165 runs, losing their last four wickets for 91 runs to be all out for 464, about 35 minutes before lunch.
They were led by the impressive Joe Root who finished on a magnificent unbeaten 182, an innings that was seven minutes short of fiva and half hours, consumed 229 deliveries and included 17 fours and four sixes.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo claimed two of the wickets to fall to finish with four for 177 from 51 overs while fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who went wicket-less in the morning session, claimed two for 67.
Resuming the day on 373 for six with Root on 118, England lost wickets steadily. Bishoo struck the first blow in the fourth over or the morning when he deceived Jos Buttler in flight and had the wicketkeeper-batsman stumped for 13, at 387 for seven.
Root added 39 with Barbados-born Chris Jordan who made 16 before being run out, sent back while attempting a second run and just failing to make his ground.
Stuart Broad perished without scoring, gloving a sweep at Bishoo for Smith at slip to run around behind the wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and claim the lob, and Jimmy Anderson was then run out for two ambling back for a second run.
Anderson then set the Windies back when he had the left-handed Smith bowled in just the third over of the innings, playing-on attempting to leave alone one that swung.
Brathwaite and Bravo carried the West Indies to lunch at 22 for one and blossomed afterward, frustrating England’s bowlers and ensuring they went wicket-less during the second session, on a flat track that offered precious little to bowlers.