West Indies batsmen made full use of the batting friendly conditions on Day 2 at Queen's Park Oval to take an 87 run lead in the first innings of the second Test match on Tuesday.
Darren Bravo (109) and Kraigg Brathwaite (129) struck fine centuries and stitched together a 182 run partnership for the fourth wicket , ensuring the hosts took the lead. There was no lateral movement of the deck, which the Caribbean pacers extracted on the first day, and the pitch was at its best to bat.
After losing nightwatchman Sulieman Benn (4) early in the day, Brathwaite and Kirk Edwards (55) had a 93 run stand for the third wicket . Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi broke the partnership bringing Bravo to the crease and he went on to score a scorching ton in front of his home crowd.
This was Bravo's maiden Test hundred in the Caribbean in 11 matches and the Trinidad-born southpaw said he is happy to finally achieve the feat at his home ground.
"It's something I had in the back of my mind before the start of the series That is probably the more special hundred, more so in front of your family," Bravo said. "It was a great feeling. I am happy that myself and Brathwaite, we were able to put the team in a good position."
The left-hander, who is often compared with Windies legend Brian Lara because of his batting style, credited the former skipper for providing vital inputs before the contest. Bravo said he talked to Lara before the match and he told him not to lose concentration.
"Before the start of the Test match, I had a good chat with my brother and before the start of the game, Lara came to give (Jermaine) Blackwood his cap and he had a 10-minute chat with me, gave me some sort of advice," Bravo said.
"He just told me that it's very important that I concentrate as much as possible," he added. "He had been looking at me bat for quite some time and he believed my concentration tended to lack a little bit. He told me that whenever I get past 30, my average tends to be in the high 70s and stuff."
The Black Caps struck twice towards the end of the day when Kane Williamson got the wicket of Bravo and Trent Boult, who was not 100 per cent, sent Brathwaite to the pavilion. Kiwi wicketkeeper BJ Watling said West Indies batsmen batted quite well, even as the Kiwi bowlers managed to beat the outside edge on a number of occasions.
"We beat the bat a lot, didn't quite find the edges today, and yeah, I mean that's Test cricket for you," Watling said. "They (West Indies) fought through the tough periods and cashed in."
"They played well to put us under pressure, but we kept coming, and I think you can look at the last spell from Trent (Boult) and Tim (Southee), still ran in hard and put Shiv (Chanderpaul) under a lot of pressure there," he said. "Yeah, we'll come back tomorrow and look to take five quick wickets and get out there and score some runs and put a target on the board."
Where to Watch Live
The 2nd Test Day 3 is scheduled for a 10:00 am local (7:30 pm IST, 2:00 pm GMT) start with live coverage on Ten Cricket and Ten HD in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Sky Sports 2 in New Zealand, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE. Viewers in the US can watch the game on Willow TV while the action can also be live streamed HERE. Watch the match in Caribbean on Sports Max, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can view the match on SuperSport and live online HERE.