Weather intervenes as hosts make steady progress
A heavy shower washed out the entire afternoon session of the third Test between the West Indies and New Zealand at Kensington Oval today.
Barbados has not been blessed with any substantial rainfall this year but it was the weather that took charge of the second day’s play at 1:03 this afternoon when a downpour sent the cricketers and umpires scampering off the field.
After a three-hour wait an announcement was made at 4:15p.m. that play was abandoned for the day and would start an half hour earlier at 9:30 tomorrow morning.
Play resumed this morning with the West Indies on 32 without loss, the overnight batsmen were Chris Gayle on 18 and Kraigg Brathwaite on 11.
New Zealand started their attack with left-arm seamer Trent Boult from the Joel Garner end and the right-arm medium pacer Tim Southee operating from the Malcolm Marshall end. Boult bowled several short balls to Gayle including a couple of very sharp bouncers.
Gayle was quickly into his groove with a powerful drive back past Southee for four while Brathwaite who seems to be full of confidence after making his maiden century at the Queen’s Park Oval played several deft drives into the off-side.
Brathwaite and Gayle posted 50 in 14 overs and seemed on their way to accumulating a big partnership. They had taken the score to 79 in the 20th over when Gayle attempted to hit off-spinner Mark Craig over long-off and was caught by Hamish Rutherford for 42. The big left-hander had faced 53 balls and struck six fours and one six.
Kirk Edwards joined Brathwaite and they proceeded to add 72 runs in 12.3 overs. Since the second Test in Trinidad, Edwards has stamped his authority on the Kiwi bowlers. He struck Craig over long-off for a flat six, while Brathwaite continued to play the ball into the gaps and ocasionally stroked the ball to the boundary.
The West Indies’ hundred came in 111 minutes from 26 overs. Five minutes later Brathwaite reached his first Test 50 in his homeland. It came in 114 minutes with eight boundaries.
Brathwaite seemed well set to make a big score when he was out caught at short cover by Southee for a well played 68, ten minutes before the lunch interval. He had batted for 146 minutes, faced 116 ballsand struck ten fours.
Lunch was taken with the score on 159 for 2 with Edwards on 41 and Darren Bravo on 8. Play resumed after the luncheon interval but the heavens opened up with the West Indies on 169 for 2. Edward had added one run to his lunchtime score and Bravo’s score remained the same.