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Hetmeyer: Brathwaite is key to rescue mission
After notching his maiden Test match half-century for the West Indies yesterday, Shimron Hetmyer said West Indies would not be thinking too far ahead, despite their great start to their second innings, in their quest to rescue the opening Test against New Zealand.
Trailing by 386 on first innings after the Black Caps piled 520 for nine declared, the Windies ended day three at the Basin Reserve on 214 for two – still requiring 172 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
Hetmyer said the key was to bat in partnerships and focus on each session at a time.
“When we came in [at the innings break] … the coaches said to us that we had done in the first innings was already past and we have to look ahead to the score that we have to get and to try as much as possible to get that score,” the 20-year-old told reporters.
“We were looking at two partnerships in excess of 150 and right now we have two good batsmen at the crease in Shai (Hope) and Kraigg (Brathwaite) and we’re just hoping they can set it up and get a 100 or even 200-run partnership.”
He added: “We play cricket as we see it and we play it [day-by-day]. Today is already gone so we’re just looking forward to the next day.”
Today’s penultimate day will be pivotal, with the Windies’ two best batsmen at the crease.
Brathwaite is unbeaten on 79 while Hope has 24 not out, and the pair have already put on 48 for the third wicket.
According to Hetmeyer, Brathwaite remained the key to the Windies fortunes in the match.
“He’s like an anchor for us and it gives us a drive to know when you go out there [to bat], there’s Kraigg there as well. You can be free at your end [to play normally].
Hetmyer caught the attention of many with his audacious innings, smashing eight fours and two sixes off just 89 deliveries, in his fourth Test and first in seven months, gathering boundaries on both sides of the square.
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