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Brathwaite makes strong statement with stroke-filled 68 for West Indies
Published on June 28, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Rain brought an early end to the second day of the third Test between West Indies and New Zealand but not before Kraigg Brathwaite made a statement with his bat at Kensington Oval.

He played a number of attractive shots both sides of the pitch in a classy 68 – which came off 116 balls and included 10 boundaries. He was especially good hitting down the ground and square of the wicket on the off-side. During the innings he became the first West Indian batsman to reach 200 runs for the series – now has 211 runs at an average of 105.50.

In the time possible on Friday, West Indies moved from 32-0 to 169-2 – as they chase New Zealand’s 293, made on the opening day.

Brathwaite, fresh from a Man-of-the-Match maiden Test century in Trinidad last week, added 79 for the first wicket with Chris Gayle – who hit a six and six boundaries in 42. It was the second consecutive half-century stand between the pair following their unbroken 95 in the victory at Queen’s Park Oval.

He also added 74 for the second wicket with Kirk Edwards – 42 not out with four fours and a six. The match will resume Saturday at 9:30 am (8:30 am Jamaica Time) with a minimum of 98 overs to be bowled.

“I am trying to build on my foundation. The hundred in Trinidad gave me a lot of confidence and I’m looking to move forward and cement a spot in the team at the top of the order. I try to give 100 per cent every time,” Brathwaite said after the day’s play.

The 21-year-old is known for his resolute style of batting but he blossomed with a number of aggressive shots on Friday.

“I told myself to be positive and look to play my strokes. It is a matter of control and looking to hit the bad ball. I won’t say I have become more attacking, it’s just that I’m more confident, but I don’t want to get too comfortable and lose focus on my goal, which is to make big scores for the West Indies.

“Batting with Chris was good for me. He was batting quite well and going after the bowling so I decided to rotate the strike and have a close look at things from the other end. In the end I got a few boundaries and got to 50 quite quickly and managed to put the team in a good position and we will try to the win the game,” Brathwaite added.

“The ball was not swinging much and there was not much pace in the pitch so with that in mind it was okay to hit the ball square, once you covered it. As an opener you will always get balls to score off.”
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