West Indies openers achieve rare feat in Bulawayo Test

West Indies openers achieve rare feat in Bulawayo Test
West Indies openers achieve rare feat in Bulawayo Test. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

An opening double century stand from openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul has lifted the West Indies into the ascendancy against Zimbabwe in the first Test match in Bulawayo.

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In control for large periods across day one and two, the pair’s biggest threat seemingly came from inclement weather, though rain only could delay the success of the pair who were both close to their best with the bat.

Brathwaite (126*) brought up his century first, reaching the milestone with a late cut through the slip cordon off the bowling of Wellington Masakadza. Not to be outdone, Chanderpaul brought up his maiden Test century in just his third Test match, calmly pushing Victor Nyauchi into the leg-side.

Chanderpaul’s hundred was also the first Test century scored by a West Indies opener outside of Brathwaite since 2013, breaking a streak of a dozen unmatched hundreds from his partner.

As a result of their efforts, the pair joined elite company in their achievement, compiling just the West Indies’ tenth opening wicket double-century stand since their first-ever Test back in 1928.

West Indies Test double century partnerships for the first wicket

Partnership Runs Opposition Ground Start Date
Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes 298 England St John’s 12 Apr 1990
Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes 296 India St John’s 28 Apr 1983
Sherwin Campbell, Adrian Griffith 276 New Zealand Hamilton 16 Dec 1999
Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell 254 New Zealand North Sound 25 Jul 2012
Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes 250* Australia Georgetown 2 Mar 1984
Allan Rae, Jeffrey Stollmeyer 239 India Chennai 27 Jan 1949
Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes 225 New Zealand Christchurch 22 Feb 1980
Kraigg Brathwaite, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 221* Zimbabwe Bulawayo 4 Feb 2023
Daren Ganga, Chris Gayle 214 Zimbabwe Bulawayo 19 Jul 2001
Roy Fredericks, Lawrence Rowe 206 England Kingston 16 Feb 1974


WI vs ZIM 2023
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Rather fittingly, Daren Ganga, who accompanied Chris Gayle to the West Indies’ other opening double-century stand in Zimbabwe (214 in 2001 at the same ground), was on the call when the pair passed his figure.

The stand is the first double-century opening stand for the team in Test cricket since 2012, and the fifth away from home.

Perhaps making the feat more remarkable, just 17 fours and a six have been hit by the pair at stumps on day two, with Zimbabwe’s bowlers toiling to no avail across the two days.

The hosts’ five-pronged attack have 20 maidens to show for their efforts, with Masakadza’s 0/30 from 16 overs the most economical of the group (1.87).


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