Shivnarine Chanderpaul was made to work hard for his 28th Test century but was quite satisfied with his performance against Zimbabwe on the second day of the second Test match at Windsor Park in Dominica.
Chanderpaul scored 108 – his third century in four matches – following 150 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka and 203 not out against Bangladesh in Khulna last December. It was also his second century at Windsor Park. Back in 2011 he made 116 not out against India and last year followed up with 68 and 69 against Australia.
The other highlight of the day’s play was Chris Gayle’s boundary-studded 15th Test century. The powerful left-hander made 101 off 145 balls, including 12 fours and four sixes, to signal a return to form.
“It was a pretty tough day. You could see it was not an easy wicket to bat on. The ball was bouncing and turning a lot and you had to really dig in. We had to get the job done and put some runs on the board and look to get a significant lead,” said Chanderpaul.
The 38-year-old, in his 148th Test match, came to the crease to face the second ball of the day after Marlon Samuels fell to the first delivery. He added a record fifth wicket stand of 173 with wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin, who made 86 to follow up his 62 in the first Test last week. This allowed West Indies to close on 381-8 – an overall lead of 206 going into the third day of the match on Friday.
“I was just about to sit and watch some cricket and Marlon got a good first ball – there wasn’t much he could have done about it; it was a real ‘beauty’ said Chanderpaul.
He added that it was tough work. "Some of the balls were bouncing, some were keeping low, you weren’t always certain what the ball would do so you had to stay watchful and patient and wait on the bad balls."
Regarding the state of the match, the experienced campaigner was confident that his team had taken a decisive advantage. "We have a lead of over 200 so that’s pretty good for us. All the spinners are making things happen on this pitch so we believe we are in a very good position to go on and win.”