West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul added 336 runs for the first wicket during the ongoing Test match against Zimbabwe. This was the highest first-wicket stand for the side. Here’s a look at five of the best first-wicket partnerships for the West Indies in Tests:
Kraigg Brathwaite-Tagenarine Chanderpaul vs Zimbabwe, 2023 - 336 runs
After a number of valiant stands during the tough tour of Australia, the new West Indies opening pair came to the fore at Bulawayo. The rain breaks did little to disrupt the duo’s concentration as they piled on the misery on Zimbabwe bowlers.
Brathwaite took the lead in run-scoring, adding 182 runs while his partner Chanderpaul contributed 148 to the stand. This effort augurs well for the future of West Indies Test batting.
Gordon Greenidge-Desmond Haynes vs England, 1990 - 298 runs
Before the above-mentioned stand between Brathwaite and Chanderpaul, the West Indies record for the highest opening stand was held by Barbadian legends Greenidge and Haynes.
The partnership was the only 100+ stand at St. John’s. West Indies pacers made merry on the bounciest pitch of the series, shooting out England for 260 before Greenidge and Haynes came together to add 298 runs. Greendige made 149 while Haynes scored 167 runs. Other batters weren’t able to match up their effort and added only 148 runs for the last nine wickets.
However, a 186-run lead was more than enough for the West Indies pace attack to secure a win by innings and 32 runs. This also helped West Indies to a 2-1 series win over England.
Gordon Greenidge-Desmond Haynes vs India, 1983 - 296 runs
Seven years prior to their mammoth partnership against England, Greenidge and Haynes had come together to get the better of India bowlers at the same venue.
West Indies had already won the series but India remained competitive in the dead rubber, scoring 457 runs in the first innings. Greenidge-Haynes took advantage of Kapil Dev’s absence on the third day, to add 296 runs for the first wicket. Greenidge hit 14 fours and a solitary six during his 154*, while Haynes hit 10 fours and one six in his 136. West Indies would go on to score 550 in their first innings. Though India responded valiantly, the match ended in a draw.
Adrian Griffith-Sherwin Campbell vs New Zealand, 1999 - 276 runs
The Griffith-Campbell stand was West Indies best effort for opening wicket away from home till it was overtaken by Brathwaite and Chanderpaul today.
West Indies elected to bat first at Hamilton after winning the toss and were given a dream start by Griffith and Campbell. The duo batted for almost the entirety of the first day in their stand of 276 runs. Campbell took the lead in attack, scoring 170 runs which were laden with 23 fours and two sixes. Griffith made 114 runs in the innings, hitting 10 boundaries and a six.
However, the dream turned into a nightmare after Campbell fell. West Indies couldn’t take advantage of the stand and made only 365 runs in the first innings. The New Zealand lower-order led by an aggressive Chris Cairns (72 from 82) took a lead of 28 runs. Cairns returned to torment West Indies with the ball, taking 7-27 as the Men in Maroon were shot out for 97.
New Zealand went on to secure an easy nine-wicket win.
Chris Gayle-Kieran Powell vs New Zealand, 2012 - 254 runs
The Gayle-Powell stand at North Sound played its role in establishing West Indies dominance during the first Test against New Zealand.
After the Kiwis had scored 351 runs in the first innings, the southpaws dominated the visiting bowlers with their assertive batting. Gayle hit 17 fours and four sixes in his 150, while Powell scored 22 fours and hit a six enroute his 134.
Some good contributions from the middle and lower-order helped West Indies to a healthy lead of 171 runs. Led by Kemar Roach and Sunil Narine, West Indies restricted New Zealand to a lead of 101. Gayle (64* from 49) and Powell (30 from 47) were yet again the stars in the second innings. West Indies won the game by nine wickets.
West Indies Tour of Zimbabwe
Watch Zimbabwe and West Indies Clash in the Second Test - Live and FREE on ICC.tv