In today’s post I look a story developing in Zimbabwe, and what it might mean for West Indies Men’s test team.
A NATIONAL RECORD OPENING STAND
Zimbabwe are not the most threatening of opponents, but as against that West Indies had to contend with regular interruptions due to the weather and the fact that overhead conditions when play was possible during the first two days certainly favoured the bowlers. Remarkably, the opening pairing of Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul were still together for the start of the third day’s play. With the score on 296 Brathwaite was dropped, and he then hit the next ball for four to bring up WI’s first ever 300 run opening stand in test cricket (also beating the previous national record of 298 by Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes in the process). The stand had reached 336 by the time Brathwaite was dismissed. England’s all time record opening stand was also achieved in southern Africa – Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook putting up 359 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg during the 1948-9 tour of South Africa. Tagenarine Chanderpaul was still there on 207* when West Indies declared at 447-6, while Brathwaite had scored 182. Zimbabwe ended the day 114-3 in reply. They can only hope to save the match, while West Indies need 17 wickets in the last two days to win it (and also for Zimbabwe’s first innings to end up at 247 or less – with so little time left WI cannot hope to win if they have to bat a second time unless it is in pursuit of a very small total, with Zimbabwe having just avoided an innings defeat).
WEST INDIES OPENING WOES
In their entire history West Indies have had two authentically great opening partnerships, Greenidge and Haynes already referred to, and the earlier combination of Allan Rae and Jeffrey Stollmeyer. Conrad Hunte, an excellent test match opener in the late 1950s and early 1960s, never had a truly reliable opening partner, and neither did Chris Gayle in the 2000s. A side who can get away to a strong start when batting have a much better chance than one that regularly loses early wickets, and while finding a reliable opening pair has been far from the only problem West Indies have had since the end of their golden era in the early 1990s it will be big news not just for them, but for cricket as a whole, if this pair prove to be the real deal (Brathwaite already has a substantial test record, but Tagenarine Chanderpaul has only played a few matches, though he has made a stellar start to his test career).
Most of the photographs in today’s gallery come from two walks, with a few in between them. Yesterday I was invited to an early supper at a flat on Purfleet Quay. By the direct route this a walk of 15-20 minutes, but I had decided to go a long way round on the way there and take the quick route home due to the fact that the latter walk would be entirely in the dark. Thus I headed by way of the two ponds near me, the stretch of the Gaywood near Kettlewell Lane, across Littleport Street, past Highgate Methodist Chapel, across another section of the Gaywood, along the only section of main road I followed during the walk down past the station to the entrance to The Walks. I headed onto St John’a Walk, then took the footpath past the Red Mount Chapel and turned onto Broad Walk, emerging onto London Road, which I crossed onto the top of Millfleet, then passing through Hillington Square and inter alia All Saints Church, the oldest in King’s Lynn. Then it was down to the river by various side roads, a quick check in at the location where the Nar joins the Great Ouse, then round the dike that overlooks old Boal Quay, and on to the Great Ouse which I followed as far as the point where the Purfleet joins it, and having crossed the bridge I then headed up Purfleet Quay to the flat.
The second walk was today, and I started by walking along Columbia Way until it meets Bawsey Drain, along which I headed towards town. I departed from Bawsey Drain via the last bridge across it before one reaches town, headed by a combination of minor roads and footpaths through to Loke Road near Loke Road Recreation Ground, from which I followed a path which leads to the Kettlewell Lane river section, and then I looped round by way of Morrison’s, before passing the Kettlewell Lane river section a second time, heading past the two ponds and thus back to my back door.
Now for the photos…