BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Experienced West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul has praised the maturity of the side’s younger players and said yesterday’s performance was testimony of their improvement.
West Indies tallied 449 for nine declared in their first innings on the second day of the first Test against Australia at Kensington Oval, with Chanderpaul leading the way with an unbeaten 103.
Darren Bravo hit 51, captain Darren Sammy blasted a cameo 41, Carlton Baugh got 22 and Narsingh Deonarine, 21.
On Saturday’s first day, Kirk Edwards scored 61 and 19-year-old opener Kraigg Brathwaite got 57.
“The young fellas are [coming in] to their own. We’ve been setting the plans and goals for the team and they’ve been working hard towards [them], we all have been working hard … I’m happy to actually see we achieved them today (Sunday),” Chanderpaul said.
“The guys are getting better, the younger players are coming through and that’s what we’ve been aiming for over the years … that’s the future and we have to plan that way.”
Chanderpaul’s century was at the foundation of the Windies’ effort, however, as he faced 248 balls, struck nine fours and a six in an innings that lasted a shade under six-and-a-half hours.
In scoring his 25th Test century, he surpassed the legendary Sir Vivian Richards for career centuries and is only one away from joining the incomparable Sir Garry Sobers, who has 26. Brian Lara leads the list with 34 centuries.
Resuming the day on eight with West Indies 179 for three, Chanderpaul said a century was not on his mind at the start.
“We actually set team goals and the team goal is actually what we were working towards,” he told reporters.
“I didn’t set any personal goals, I set team goals and the team goals would help us to achieve whatever we want to achieve individually.”
He praised the Australia attack, though it struggled for long periods as West Indies batted in partnerships.
Part time leg-spinner David Warner snared two for 45 and fast bowler Ryan Harris, two for 83.
“They are always a tough, tough opposition and you always have to fight. It’s always [great] to do good against them,” said the 37-year-old.
“You always want to do well. Against opposition like Australia … you have to bring your ‘A’ game you can’t just walk out deciding that you can play anyhow against them. You have to step up.
“It was pretty much a decent track. They bowled well on it, made you work hard for everything. They were disciplined so you had to work hard.”
Chanderpaul now has the distinction of having scored the most runs at Kensington with 1374 runs from 16 Tests.
He is also now just 188 runs shy of becoming only the second West Indies player behind Lara to reach 10 000 Test runs.
“Barbados is always a very good wicket to bat on once you get in. You just have to get in on it,” he noted.