LEEDS, England, CMC – Opener Kraigg Brathwaite carved out his sixth Test hundred while immensely talented stroke-maker Shai Hope gathered his first, as West Indies dominated England to take a surprise advantage on the second day of the second Test at Headingley here yesterday.
Under heavy criticism following a heavy innings defeat inside three days last weekend, the Caribbean side responded strongly by piling up 329 for five in their first innings at the close – a lead of 71 heading into today’s third day.
At the heart of the Windies enterprise were Brathwaite and Hope who combined prudence and aggression to subdue England’s much-vaunted seam attack.
Hope was unbeaten on 147 at the close, an innings that has so far consumed six hours flat and lasted 252 balls, with 23 boundaries. The knock was also the highest individual score by a West Indies batsman in a Test in England in 22 years.
He was partnered by Jermaine Blackwood who has already stroked four boundaries in a 23-ball 21.
Brathwaite, meanwhile, gathered 134 – a knock that included 17 fours and two sixes, and came from 249 deliveries in six hours and 20 minutes at the crease.
Together, he and Hope put on a superb 246 for the fourth wicket – the highest stand by the Windies in England in just over three decades – which pulled West Indies around from danger at 35 for three and saw them dominate the second session without losing a wicket.
Resuming the day on 19 for one, England threatened a repeat of the opening Test at Edgbaston when seamer Jimmy Anderson removed nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo in the fifth over of the day for one and then followed up by knocking over new batsman Kyle Hope for three.
Bishoo failed to add to his overnight score, wafting at a wide one and nicking a catch behind while Kyle Hope was well caught by captain Joe Root diving low to his left at second slip.
However, any hopes England had of another collapse were soon dashed as Brathwaite and Hope played positively to take the Caribbean side to lunch on 109 for three.
Brathwaite, on 13 at the start, survived his share of anxious moments. On 35, he was given out LBW to seamer Stuart Broad only to be reprieved on review because of an inside edge.
Brathwaite then released the tension by clearing the leg-side ropes off the very next delivery to raise his half-century, to be unbeaten on 63 at lunch with Shai Hope on 33
West Indies added a further 97 runs in the next session, with Brathwaite cruising to triple figures in style. He moved into the 90s with back-to-back off-side boundaries off seamer Ben Stokes before lifting part-time off-spinner Tom Westley for a straight six off the penultimate delivery before tea, to reach his landmark.
Shai Hope, meanwhile, looked in fine touch, moving into the 40s with a couple of boundaries off Anderson in the second over after lunch before reaching his half-century in the next over with a straight-driven four off seamer Chris Woakes.
On 85 at tea with the Windies on 206, Shai eased into the 90s with a delight cover drive for four off off-spinner Moeen Ali before stylishly pulling Stokes to the square boundary in the next over to move to 99.
A single to long leg off the next delivery brought him his maiden hundred in his 12 Test.
The pair frustrated England for the next hour before Brathwaite finally perished in the third over following the drinks break, bowled by Broad as he prodded forward.
There was no joy for new batsman Roston Chase as he lasted 20 balls in scoring five before fending one from Stokes that bounced, to Alastair Cook at first slip.