Brathwaite, Chanderpaul formalise new partnership with hundreds
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (CMC):
West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and fellow opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul made hay while the sun shone and cemented their new partnership with resolute hundreds against Zimbabwe in the rain-hit first Test yesterday.
Only 38 overs were possible after play started five and a half hours later than rescheduled on the second day at the Queen's Sports Club because of wet conditions caused by adverse weather, but it was more than enough time for Brathwaite and Chanderpaul to reach their milestones.
For Brathwaite, undefeated on 116, it was his 12th Test hundred and second in three Tests, and for Chanderpaul, unbeaten on 101, it was his maiden hundred in only his third Test - and they carried the Windies to 221 without loss in their first innings at the close on another rain-shortened day.
Rain had stopped play about half-hour before tea on the first day of the match, and the players never returned to the field, wiping out the entire final session, but Brathwaite and Chanderpaul soaked up the disruptions and put the visitors in a favourable position.
Brathwaite needed 226 balls to reach the landmark when he late cut a delivery from left-arm spinner Wellington Maskadza past slip for two runs - but he has counted only seven boundaries in his innings that has occupied 246 balls.
Chanderpaul, son of former Guyana batting icon and West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul, brought up the mark from 286 balls when he pulled a short ball from pacer Victor Nyauchi through square leg for a single and struck 10 fours and one six from 291 balls.
"I guess he is following the game, and he messaged me (Saturday night), and he reminded me not to settle for scores of 40 or 50, but going on and trying to get big scores," the younger Chanderpaul said when asked how his father may feel about the way he batted. "That's what I am trying to do, so he must be feeling proud of me right now.
"This is the best feeling in the world, scoring a century in Test cricket. I was just trying out there to get a start again and bat as long and as deep as possible... The pitch is like some in the Caribbean, and I am feeling happy, excited, overjoyed, all the feelings that you could imagine."
The younger Chanderpaul became the first Windies opener other than Brathwaite to score a hundred since Chris Gayle struck 101 against the same opponents eight years ago at Windsor Park in Dominica, breaking a sequence of 12 unmatched by his more illustrious partner.