Flashback: Kraigg Brathwaite – The only opener to remain not out in both Test innings


Opening batsmen play the most pivotal role in Test cricket. It is their responsibility to see off the new ball, face the toughest conditions, and set a platform for the ensuing batsman. As time has progressed, and with the onset of T20 cricket, we have seen opening batsmen have become less patient and thus end up losing their wicket very early on. It is rare to see an opening batsman score a huge score in today’s times. That is why it is astonishing that Kraigg Brathwaite carried his bat (stayed not out and the last man standing) in not just one, but both the innings of a Test match. He is the only opener ever to achieve that feat.

Kraigg Brathwaite who made his debut in 2011, has slowly established himself as a reliable opener for West Indies in Test cricket. He was at his absolute best in the 3rd Test match of the West Indies tour of Pakistan in 2016. West Indies had already lost the series. They were playing for pride in the 3rd Test at Sharjah.

First act

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. They managed to put 281 on the board, primarily due to fifties from the middle order and 74 by opener Sami Aslam. In reply, West Indies lost the early wicket of Leon Johnson. Pakistan had a deadly bowling attack which comprised of Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and the king of UAE, Yasir Shah.

West Indies kept losing wickets regularly as Brathwaite held one end up. While the top order failed, Brathwaite found reliable allies in Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich who stitched important partnerships with him. Even when West Indies were losing wickets, Brathwaite was unflustered. He had a watertight technique and that was on full display as he left all balls outside the off stump and played the spinners with confidence. Brathwaite ended day 2 on 95*.

Brathwaite got to a magnificent ton in the first couple of overs on day 3. It was a stunning ton in trying conditions. He didn’t lose his concentration even after getting to the milestone. He batted on and had to go back to the dugout only once he had run out of partners. He remained not out on 142. West Indies managed to get 337 in their first innings. The West Indies bowlers came out with a lot of fire and had Pakistan dismissed for just 208. After being carried single-handedly by Brathwaite for almost 3 and a half days, West Indies had a chance to beat Pakistan.

Second act

Once again, Brathwaite was the man who led the charge. However, Brathwaite didn’t find support once again. At 67-5, it seemed West Indies were heading towards another loss. However, Brathwaite wasn’t going to let his efforts from the first innings go in vain. He stepped up once again and stitched an 87-run unbeaten partnership with Dowrich, where both batsmen scored 60* to take West Indies home.

It was one of the most breathtaking displays of grit, patience and class by a batsman in a long, long time. Not only was it a magnificent victory for West Indies, but also a record-breaking Test for Kraigg Brathwaite as he became the only opener ever to remain not out in both innings of a Test.