CMC – In Perth, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite said he was under no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge facing West Indies on Sunday’s final day of the opening Test but reiterated the need for a measured approach from his batsmen in order to avoid defeat.
Australia dominated the fourth day at Perth Stadium on Saturday, declaring at 184 for two in their second innings, setting West Indies an improbable 498 for victory in five sessions.
Brathwaite then struck an unbeaten 101 – his 11th Test hundred – while debutant opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul weighed in with 45, leaving West Indies on 192 for three at the close – still 306 runs adrift of their target.
“The first hour is crucial – we don’t want to think too far ahead. We will go hour by hour and obviously we assess,” Brathwaite said Saturday.
“As I said, the first hour and first session are very crucial. Australia are going to come hard so it’s obviously important we start extremely well.
“[Avoiding defeat] that would be great but we’re not thinking too far ahead. We just want to take it each hour and fight each hour and that’s very crucial for us tomorrow.”
He continued: “The pitch is still a good pitch. There are some areas obviously … where one or two are keeping a little low so it’s always important to keep as straight a bat as possible.
“But [there’s] a bit of spin as well so possibly tomorrow some cracks will open up a little bit more so it won’t be easy tomorrow.
“But as I said from the beginning, we’ve got to show that fight and it starts from ball one tomorrow and I believe once we do that, we’ll have a good day.”
Brathwaite, who top-scored in the first innings with 64, faced 168 balls in a shade over 4-½ hours and counted 11 fours – mainly crisp drives down the ground.
During the knock, he surpassed 5 000 runs in Tests – the 13th West Indies player to achieve the landmark – and also edged ahead of the legendary George Headley on the list of century-makers.
The hundred was also Brathwaite’s first against Australia and second in six Tests this year, following his 160 against England at Bridgetown last March.