Brathwaite hits century as West Indies close in on England


Kraigg Brathwaite.— File photo

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite scored a magnificent unbeaten century as West Indies closed in on England’s first innings score on day two of the second test at Headingley on Saturday.

Brathwaite brought up his sixth test century with a six shortly before tea as West Indies reached 206 for three in response to England’s 258 all out.

With seven wickets in hand they are only 52 runs adrift.

Brathwaite was joined at the crease by Shai Hope in the morning session when West Indies were rocking 35 for three as England’s James Anderson looked menacing in conditions ideal for swing bowling, taking two early wickets.

Twice Braithwaite was reprieved with successful reviews after being given out lbw — once to Stuart Broad and once to Moeen Ali — as West Indies moved to 109 for three at lunch.

The afternoon session belonged to West Indies as Brathwaite balanced steadfast defence with some fine stroke-making.

Hope offered impressive support and played some beautiful cover drives as he also closed in on a century, reaching 85 at tea as England’s bowlers tried desperately for a breakthrough.

Brathwaite reached three figures when he launched part-time spinner Tom Westley over long-on for a huge six.

West Indies began the day on 19-1 with Brathwaite quickly dispatching a struggling Broad for several boundaries.

Nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo departed in the fifth over of the morning, edging one from Anderson who then removed Kyle Hope thanks to a great catch from captain Joe Root at second slip.

England won the opening match of the series by a huge margin but West Indies have shown far greater appetite for the contest so far at Headingley and would have been in a better position were it not for a magnificent century by Ben Stokes on Friday.