Edwards steadies Windies

2014-06-17 20:16
Kirk Edwards (File)

Port of Spain - Rain has halted play 15 minutes into the afternoon session on the second day of the second Test between the West Indies and New Zealand at Queen's Park Oval on Tuesday.

Replying to New Zealand's first innings total of 221, the West Indies were 138 for three at the interruption with Kraigg Brathwaite on 55 and Darren Bravo on 17.

Earlier, under pressure after a double-failure in the first Test in Jamaica, the powerfully-built right-hander stroked his way to 55 off 64 balls with seven fours and three sixes, dominating an 83-run third-wicket partnership with fellow-Barbadian Kraigg Brathwaite (48 not out) as the home side made steady progress in reply to New Zealand's first innings total of 221.

Coming to the crease after nightwatchman Sulieman Benn was bowled off his pads by Tim Southee in the fast-medium bowler's third over of the day, Edwards saw off the challenging first spells of Southee and fellow seamer Trent Boult before going after their replacements.

Mark Craig, New Zealand's match-winning off-spinner a week earlier, came in for some rough treatment, conceding 43 runs off seven overs.

It was not all due to Edwards' attacking play though as the usually phlegmatic Brathwaite followed in his teammate's wake, using his feet to hoist the slow bowler for three on-side boundaries.

Brought in for this match to replace Kieran Powell at the top of the order, his innings has so far occupied 96 deliveries with five fours taking him to within two runs of a half-century.

Brathwaite's generally patient vigil has been the ideal foil to the shot-making from the batsmen at the other end.

Like Craig, medium-pacer Jimmy Neesham also took some punishment, being carted for 28 runs off four overs.

It took the belated introduction of Ish Sodhi for his first bowl of the match to break the partnership just before the interval when Edwards' indeterminate prod to the leg-spinner's third delivery offered a straightforward catch to wicketkeeper B.J. Watling.

Darren Bravo (10 not out), playing on his club ground, started positively, but in overcast conditions offering assistance to the bowlers and a hint of rain around, an interesting passage of play is anticipated in the afternoon.

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