Brathwaite appreciates Gayle influence

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Batsman Kraigg Brathwaite cherished a burgeoning alliance with the veteran Chris Gayle at the top of the order, as the West Indies moved to 169 for two – in reply to New Zealand's 293 all out – on day two of the third and final Test at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Batsman Kraigg Brathwaite cherished a burgeoning alliance with the veteran Chris Gayle at the top of the order, as the West Indies moved to 169 for two – in reply to New Zealand's 293 all out – on day two of the third and final Test at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Brathwaite an Gayle, who enjoyed an unbroken 95-run second-innings stand in the second Test, put on 79 runs on Saturday. The inexperienced right-hander climbed to 68 and the stalwart left-hander 42.

"Batting with Chris was good for me. He was batting quite well and going after the bowling so I decided to rotate the strike and have a close look at things from the other end. In the end, I got a few boundaries and got to my fifty quite quickly and managed to put the team in a good position and we will try to the win the game now," said Brathwaite.

"The ball was not swinging much and there was not much pace in the pitch, so with that in mind it was okay to hit the ball square, once you covered it. As an opener you will always get balls to score off."

Recalled to the first-choice XI after the Windies lost the series opener by 186 runs inside four days at Sabina Park, the 21-year-old Brathwaite's impact was immediately positive at Queen's Park Oval earlier this month.

Warranting selection ahead of the dropped Kieran Powell entirely, Brathwaite struck an outstanding 129, which spanned 258 deliveries and featured 13 boundaries – and contributed to a decisive 10-wicket victory.

"I am trying to build on my foundation. The ton in Trinidad gave me a lot of confidence and I'm looking to move forward and cement a spot in the team at the top of the order. I try to give 100 percent every time," he added.

"I told myself to be positive and look to play my strokes. It is a matter of control and looking to hit the bad ball. I won't say I have become more attacking, it's just that I'm more confident. However, I don't want to get too comfortable and lose focus on my goal, which is to make big scores for the West Indies."

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