Tagenarine Chanderpaul made an unbeaten double century after setting a new West Indies record of 336 for the first wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite on Monday before the tourists declared at 447-6 in the first Test against Zimbabwe. The opening stand at the Queens Sports Club in the southwestern city of Bulawayo surpassed the 298-run partnership shared by Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes against England in 1990.
Zimbabwe were 114-3 in reply at stumps on the third day — 333 runs behind — with Innocent Kaia, one of five Test newcomers in the team, unbeaten on 59 having struck nine fours. The final delivery of the day saw one skipper dismiss another as Brathwaite clean bowled Craig Ervine for 13 with a deceptively quick ball.
“The guys played well and congrats to Tage on his maiden century. Good to see him convert it to a double. It was a really good partnership with the captain,” said all-rounder Jason Holder.
“Good to see them not only lay down the foundation but also take it really deep. I don’t want to talk about the team plan, we just need wickets.
“We need to be ruthless. Need to start well tomorrow, get a few early wickets and hopefully press them,” he added.
Brathwaite made 182 before being trapped leg before while Chanderpaul, the son of former West Indies skipper Shivnarine, finished on 207 not out after hitting a six to reach a double ton in only his third Test outing. Both batsmen began day three with hundreds under their belts as West Indies resumed on 221 without loss after two rain-affected days.
The scoring rate had been under two and half until that point, but Brathwaite, 116 not out overnight, immediately set about the attack with the run rate early on standing at five per over. Brathwaite clattered his way to 182 before being trapped by spinner Wellington Masakadza.
The captain failed when trying to sweep a full-length delivery on off stump, ending an innings which spanned 312 balls and included 18 fours. It was a welcome return to form for Brathwaite, who made only 19 and three against Australia in his last Test, two months ago in Adelaide.
It was small reward for the Zimbabwe bowlers who had toiled 114 overs before making the breakthrough. They got a second wicket before lunch when Kyle Mayers was bowled through the gate for 20 by leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta, who went on to take five wickets at a cost of 140 runs. But the wicket that eluded Mavuta and four other Zimbabwean bowlers was that of Chanderpaul who, picking up the tempo from a sluggish first two days, struck three sixes and 16 fours.
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