Chanderpaul stars with double century as WI record falls
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (CMC):
Tagenarine Chanderpaul converted his maiden Test hundred into a splendid double and combined with captain Kraigg Brathwaite to shatter West Indies' 33-year-old record for the opening partnership, as they took charge of the opening Test against Zimbabwe yesterday.
With the rain which had plagued the first two days of the contest staying away, Chanderpaul and Brathwaite exploited the favourable conditions at Queens Sports Club to propel West Indies to an imposing 447 for six declared in their first innings.
The 26-year-old Chanderpaul, in only his third Test, finished unbeaten on 207 after resuming the morning on 101. He faced 467 balls in just shy of 10 hours at the crease and struck 16 fours and three sixes, becoming only the 10th West Indies batsman to turn his maiden Test century into a double.
Brathwaite, meanwhile, unbeaten on 116 at the start, made 182 - his second-highest Test score and falling just short of a second double hundred in Tests. All told, his knock spanned 312 deliveries, in a shade over eight hours, and included 18 fours.
Resuming the morning with West indies on top at 221 without loss, the pair extended their opening stand to 336 - marching past the West Indies record of 298 set by legends Sir Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes in 1990 against England.
The partnership was also the ninth highest-ever Test opening stand and the first in excess of 300 in nearly a decade.
When West Indies eventually declared during the second session, Zimbabwe produced a strong fightback, courtesy of 30-year-old right-hander Innocent Kaia, who stroked an unbeaten 59 in an opening stand of 63 with fellow debutant Tanunurwa Makoni, who made 33.
However, once the stand was broken, West Indies picked up three wickets for 51 runs to reduce the hosts to 114 for three at the close - still 333 runs adrift heading into today's fourth day.
"The entire team enjoyed seeing Tage scoring not only his first hundred, but converting that into a double. It is something really special not just for him, but for the entire team," interim head coach Andre Coley said afterwards.
"The fact that we've lost so much time in the game, we felt we would still give ourselves a chance to get wickets on a pitch, as we have seen, is good for batting.
"The fact that we've taken three wickets is quite good. Obviously, we're feeling good that we were able to get some early inroads into the batting, but it will require lots more discipline from us, to ensure that we are able to maintain the pressure."