WELLINGTON: Kraigg Brathwaite was eyeing his seventh century as he led the West Indies survival effort after Tom Blundell’s debut ton put New Zealand in a seemingly unbeatable position in the first Test in Wellington yesterday.
Brathwaite was unbeaten on 79 as the tourists reached 214 for two at stumps on day three. Shai Hope was not out 21.
After trailing by 386 on the first innings, they still requiring a further 172 runs to make New Zealand bat again.
The target appeared monumental, but Brathwaite has the memory of the West Indies’ last tour of New Zealand to know it is not impossible.
In the first Test on the 2013 tour they were 396 in arrears when forced to follow-on. A Marlon Samuels double century took them to 507 in their second innings on the fifth day and New Zealand ran out of time chasing a target of 112 to win.
Brathwaite, who was on that tour but not required for that Test, played confidently against the New Zealand attack.
He featured in a 72-run partnership with Kieran Powell (40) for the first wicket, a 94-run stand with Shimron Hetmyer (66) for the second wicket and has added a further 48 with Hope. Hetmyer, only 20 and playing just his fourth Test, easily bettered his previous best 25 against Pakistan seven months ago.