Brathwaite, Cornwall take West Indies to 354 against Sri Lanka

North Sound (Antigua and Barbuda) (AFP) –


Kraigg Brathwaite completed a ninth Test century and was eventually last out for 126 on the stroke of lunch as the West Indies totalled 354 in their first innings on the second day of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka in Antigua on Tuesday.

Suranga Lakmal led the visitors' effort with figures of four for 94 off 28 overs.

Experienced fast-medium bowler Lakmal finally broke through for the tourists halfway through the morning session when he ended a 103-run eighth-wicket partnership between Brathwaite and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Very much the aggressor for the two-and-a-half hours of their time in the middle, Cornwall went past his previous best in Tests –- 61 in the first innings of the first Test just a week earlier at the same venue.

He may have even been entertaining the prospect of a maiden Test hundred on his home ground when a miscued heave to the on-side offered a simple catch to Vishwa Fernando at mid-on.

Cornwall's 73 came off 92 balls and was embellished by 10 fours and one six.

Captain Brathwaite, who resumed on 99 overnight and went to three figures by turning the third ball of the morning from Lakmal to fine leg, never accelerated out of first gear through his eight-and-a-half-hour vigil, even with the demise of Cornwall.

He eventually stroked two more boundaries to add to his tally of 11 from day one but then saw the dismissal of Kemar Roach off Dushmantha Chameera, giving wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella his fifth catch of the innings.

Joined by last man Shannon Gabriel, someone with no pretensions to batsmanship, it seemed almost inevitable that Brathwaite would complete the rare feat of carrying his bat through a completed Test innings twice, having done so previously against Pakistan in Sharjah in 2016.

But it was the skipper who perished, playing on for 126 and giving Chameera a third wicket of the innings.

Brathwaite's marathon effort, during which he went past 4,000 Test runs, occupied 311 deliveries in which he stroked 13 fours.