Brathwaite among runs in tame draw

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LINCOLN, New Zealand (CMC) – Leading West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite warmed up for next weekend’s first Test with a half-century, as the Caribbean side earned a tame draw against New Zealand A in their three-day match here Monday.
Having failed in the first innings, the right-hander carved out 88 in the second on the final day of the contest at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, to find form ahead of the two-Test series against the Black Caps.
West Indies, resuming from 53 for two overnight, were dismissed for 186, with wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich chipping in with 47 to follow up his first innings 35.
Worryingly, however, there was another failure for Jermaine Blackwood who fell without scoring after making just four in the first innings.
Hamish Bennett led New Zealand A with three for 50 while fellow seamers Jimmy Neesham (2-16), Lockie Ferguson (2-24) and Logan van Beek (2-46) all finished with two wickets each.
The hosts then rattled up 72 without loss as the match petered out into a predictable draw, with West Indies affording their bowlers decent spells in preparation for the first Test.
Jeet Raval stroked an unbeaten 32 and captain Tom Latham, 28 not out, both players using the game to also get in tune for the Test series.
Resuming the day hoping for another productive batting display, West Indies were rocked early when Roston Chase added two to his overnight four before perishing and Blackwood followed soon afterwards.
On 72 for four, West Indies were bailed out by Brathwaite who put on 29 for the fifth wicket with Raymon Reifer (12) and a further 70 for the sixth wicket with Dowrich.
All told, Brathwaite faced 124 deliveries in 3-1/2 hours and counted 12 fours while Dowrich struck five fours and a six in a 71-ball knock.
Brathwaite’s eventual retirement however led to a lower order slide with the last five wickets going down for 15 runs.
The first Test gets underway at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on December 1, and the prolific Barbadian is expected to lead West Indies’ batting in the Test series as the visitors chase their first series win on New Zealand soil in 22 years.

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