Patience, practice pays off for Blackwood

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Batsman Jermaine Blackwood's solid stretch of form at domestic level continued on the international stage, as the West Indies kept control of the second Test on day three in Port of Spain.

Batsman Jermaine Blackwood's solid stretch of form at domestic level continued on the international stage, as the West Indies kept control of the second Test on day three in Port of Spain.

Debutant Blackwood, who recently three fine first-class centuries for the Sagicor High Performance Centre, cherished a fluid 63 in a final total of 460 all out at Queen's Park Oval on Wednesday

"The difference is that I have started to bat more. I was batting fewer balls and getting out in the first half hour. I started going to the nets, started to leave alone a lot of balls and bat for hours. My natural game is to score fast but I have to adapt to these conditions, this is Test cricket," said Blackwood.

"The High Performance Centre has helped a lot of guys. Every day I had to work on my game and every day I had to train. The coaches there are brilliant. I would work on my game every day, bat for hours, leave alone a lot of balls continue to play straight and keep my shape. It really helped me a lot."

His maiden vigil in the longest format of the game promised plenty – and featured six boundaries and twin sixes in conditions that proved rather placid. The 22-year-old's contribution was a fitting end to a formidable innings built on the back of superb tons from the right-handed Kraigg Brathwaite and left-handed Darren Bravo.

"I thought right through that I'd play each ball on merit and when a ball is there to be hit, I hit it and I try to stay positive and try to get some singles. It's always how I bat," he added.

"It's not about coming in with a 100-lead or a 200-lead. It doesn't make a difference. I still have to go out there and get the job done. You put in your hard work, play each one on its merit and bat for as long as possible."

The Black Caps will resume on 74 for one – 166 runs in arrears – on Thursday. Opener Tom Latham and the in-form Kane Williamson are on 30 not out and 38 not out respectively.

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