New Zealand A v West Indies
Four-Day Match (first-class)
John Davies Oval, Queenstown
26-29 November 2020
Supported by New Zealand A captain Cole McConchie, Will Young achieved his 10th first-class century on the final morning in Queenstown, reaching three figures off 209 balls, with eight boundaries included.
It was the classy Young's second first-class ton for the NZ A side, and arrived shortly after the watchful pair had put 100 runs on the board for the fifth wicket.
By lunch they were still at their posts, NZ A now 356 for four and trailing the West Indians by 215.
While the second fixture between the sides at the oval seemed destined for another draw, local interest remained centred on uncapped Test squad member Young whose unbeaten 133* at the lunch break was now moving steadily closer to his career best 162.
McConchie had meanwhile travelled to an unbeaten 74*, their partnership now sitting at a hefty 170.
Young had been in command at the crease for more than six hours before the West Indies finally dislodged him, bowled by the match's other centurion - Kraigg Brathwaite - on 133.
After an eternity spent padded up, keeper-batsman Dane Cleaver was mortified to play on for just 10 a few overs later, bringing Sean Solia to the crease as McConchie drew to within 20 runs of a century of his own.
Solia had the misfortune to depart for a duck, however, the flurry reducing NZ A to 377/7 and Ben Sears now McConchie's partner.
McConchie survived the wicket storm, however, marching on to his own century, an unbeaten 124* off 233 balls (336 minutes, seven boundaries and one six) before shaking hands with the West Indies skipper to call the match a draw.
New Zealand A had reached 440/8 in their first innings, McConchie heading in with his fifth first-class century and first for New Zealand A.
It was New Zealand A's turn to put in some hours at the batting crease and, before bad light interrupted proceedings just after 5PM, three batsmen had reached half centuries.
Overnight batsman Rachin Ravindra got there first with a 98-ball effort at the top, just after drinks in the morning session.
Fellow opener Henry Cooper had meanwhile contributed 41 to their century-stand for the first wicket before Ravindra was trapped on 52 by spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.
Cooper followed just 10 overs later, trapped by Chemar Holder on 54: 100/0 was now 130/2.
Holder struck again to bring a quick wicket in number four Joe Carter, but Will Young had meanwhile begun to settle in and kept the momentum going for the side for the rest of the afternoon, unbeaten after a patient 80 when bad light ended play.
The Test squad batsman collected his 5000th run in the process, with New Zealand A 249 for four in reply, to trail the West Indies by 322 on the first innings heading into the final day.
West Indies Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite continued from where he left off - on 183 not out overnight - to post the best first-class score of his career.
Brathwaite's 246 was also his second double century in 160 first-class matches, produced in an impressive 9.2 hour stint at the crease as he thoroughly frustrated the New Zealand A attack.
The double hundred mark itself was posted off 280 balls, featuring 16 fours and a six, and solidly constructed from a steel core of patience and being prepared to work the ball around in classic anchorman style.
It was Brathwaite's 23rd century overall and the pace of his innings remained constant throughout as he steered the West Indies to 463 for four by lunch.
After more than four sessions watching the right-hander in his office, finally Michael Rae induced a false pull shot that saw Will Young's safe hands snaffle up the catch to end the opener's odyssey - by which time the West Indies were 483 for six.
New Zealand A was chipping our regular wickets now, though in the face of a wall of first innings runs.
Rachin Ravindra, who had ended Darren Bravo's solid knock on the first day, had the first breakthrough of day two in the first session - but not before the overnight incumbent Jermaine Blackwood had reached a half century off just 79 balls in the pleasant, if somewhat windy, batting conditions.
He shared a century stand with the rock Brathwaite for the fourth, before Ravindra's spin hoodwinked him in the hour before lunch.
By tea the West Indians were eight down, NZ A captain Cole McConchie having picked up a couple of quick late order wickets before the break. Meanwhile, the visitors' total had now pushed on past the 500 mark.
McConchie finished with three after a runout hastened the end of the innings, albeit after a 53-run stand for the ninth. The West Indies were all out for 571 before NZ A began their reply in the last hour.
NZA will resume Day 3 at 45 for no loss.
A stumps score of 353 for three tells a succinct story of the opening day of the second New Zealand A fixture against the West Indies in Queenstown.
After West Indian skipper Darren Bravo elected to bat in the first-class four-dayer - his 100th first-class appearance, NZ A was in for a long day in the dirt as the touring top order piled serious partnerships onto the board.
Opening pair Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell made an intentful start, putting on the first century stand inside the first 21 overs.
When the score reached Nelson's - 111 - however, superstition struck in the form of the first wicket.
Blair Tickner had fired one through Campbell's middle stump to collect his wicket for the second time in as many innings, just not before the left-hander had punched 45 off 62 deliveries this time to help get early momentum for his side.
New Zealand A was happy to have broken the opening partnership, but they would have to dig deep and sweat hard to prise apart the following pair.
Brathwaite was joined by his captain shortly before lunch and the two quickly settled in for a 189-run stand for the second wicket.
Brathwaite had already notched up a half century at near run-a-ball pace, and Bravo followed suit with a more measured, 90-ball effort that carried the visitors through to tea without further loss.
Brathwaite had reached three figures by then: the 27-year-old's 23rd first-class century, after more than three and a half hours in the middle.
He just kept going. His third 50 flew off just 80 balls, hitting his 150 before drinks in the last session.
Now Bravo himself was closing in, but after hours of near fruitless toil NZ A finally had another wicket to celebrate when he mistimed spinner Rachin Ravindra on 93.
It was a frustrating exit for Bravo after nearly four hours of application - but at 300 for two, the West Indies were already in a strong position.
Brathwaite lost another partner several overs later when Michael Rae had Shamarh Brooks caught at 322/3, but Brathwaite himself wouldn't budge.
He tickled a single off Rae to bring up the West Indies 350, now within 17 runs of a double century.
He would carry his bat through the remains of the day to stay on 183 not out at the close of play, the West Indies to resume Day Two at 353 for three.