Left to hang at 99 overnight, West Indies captain Craig Bratwight has completed his ninth test century to put his team in a strong stump position on the second day of the second cricket test against Sri Lanka.
Bratwite needed only two balls at the beginning of the day to reach his first century in July 2018. He worked the second ball from Suranga Lakmal to finish a leg for one to finish his first hundred as captain of the West India of 241 balls with 11 fours
Brathwaite was the 16th player in test history to be blocked at 99 overnight and he maintained a series as all 16 were turned into hundreds. He has now scored nine of the last 10 centuries by a discoverer of the West Indies.
Brathwaite’s 103rd eighth-gate partnership with Rahkeem Cornwall helped the West Indies reach 354 after hitting first after losing the throw. On stumps Sri Lanka was 136-3 behind, 218 runs behind.
Lahiru Thiriman followed with a score of 70 and 76 in the first test with 55, which provided solidity at the top of Sri Lanka’s order. Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de silva then broke 25 shots in a continuous partnership with a fourth gate, which cost 59 stump runs when Chandimal was 34 and de Silva 23.
De Silva experienced a confident call for two balls caught behind Cornwall’s ball before the stumps. He tried to pull a flight delivery and made a clear noise as the ball passed the bat down his leg.
The judge dismissed Sri Lanka’s appeal for the catch and called on the West Indies to reconsider. The reps showed a clear jump as the ball passed the bat. But the TV arbiter, combining different angles of reproduction with sound evidence, correctly judged that the sound did not come from the ball hitting the bat.
Jason Holder, who was replaced by Brathwaite as captain, played a key role in encouraging West Indian players late in the day.
“So far, this has been a pretty docile gate, so we should try to motivate ourselves,” Holder said.
“I took it upon myself to try to encourage the boys and ensure that we continue to go through the whole inning today.
“So far, it’s been a pretty good effort on the part of the bowlers, not a wicket where you can just throw people out.”
Holder said the match was tightly balanced in two days.
“It’s pretty even Stevens,” he said. “There are currently two batsmen in the fold. Our bowling has been very busy, we still have 60 overs; be almost in the game.”
The day began with great anticipation of the century of Bratwate and he did not make fans wait.
Cornwall, 43, who didn’t come out overnight, reached his half-century with Lakmal’s four, of 64 balls with eight fours and sixes.
Brathwaite experienced a confident lbw complaint when he was 102. Sri Lanka’s complaint was rejected. Repetitions showed that the ball simply trimmed the stump of the foot.
The partnership of the century between Brathwaite and Cornwall comes from 185 balls, with Cornwall contributing 72.
Cornwall had reached a new high score, 73, when he misled driving from Lakmal and secured a gentle, lobbied catch for Vishwa Fernando in the middle as well.
Bratwight stepped up his score, hitting Lakmal and Dushmantha Chameera to the boundaries in the middle of the middle and in the middle of the next two frames.
He enjoyed a short stance with Kemar Roach who was out for 9, caught by Niroshan Dickwella of Chameera, giving five a catch to five of the innings.
Bratwait knocked out the inning of the West Indies and was the last man of 354, dragging a ball from Chameera on his stumps to end his 514-minute stay in the fold.