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Breaking down former Gloucestershire opener Kraigg Brathwaite’s historic test match as West Indies captain battles out for a draw against England

Former Gloucestershire opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite did more than just thwart England as he valiantly helped his team bat out day five of the second test in Barbados.

His mammoth match performance saw him face a huge 673 balls across two innings, a number that falls just seven short of his total for his county last season.

He played an integral role in the draw as the West Indies captain scored a gritty and determined 160 in the first innings to frustrate England before batting out two sessions for 56 not out on the final day to ensure that the three-match series remained 0-0 after two games.

Although Brathwaite couldn’t win his side the game, he was an immovable keystone in the Windies’ fight for a draw. His remarkable staying power throughout the test also moved him into some lofty record books along the way.

Here’s how his goliath innings ranks in the history books.

Most balls faced across two innings (any nation)

Okay, so no, he didn’t break this record, but post-war and post the end of timeless test matches, only seven players have ever faced more than Brathwaite’s extravaganza, if you can call it that.

As previously stated, across six matches and 11 innings last summer, the overseas batsman only faced 680 balls, averaging 61 balls per innings as opposed to the 336 in the test in Grenada.

Unfortunately for Brathwaite across four innings against England in the last two weeks he has also surpassed his County Championship run accumulation from last season too.

He has had a good start to the series with the bat, racking up 304 runs at an average of 101. He could only score a disappointing 295 runs at 26 in the English summer.

Most balls faced across two innings (West Indies)

Although the record for most balls faced in a test match is still a long way off, even for Brathwaite’s slow scoring rate, he did surpass Brian Lara’s own incredible feat.

During the Trinidadian’s record-smashing 400 not out, also against England, in 2004, Lara used up 582 balls, a number that is dwarfed in comparison to Brathwaite’s effort in Barbados.

Lara is well thought of as one of the greatest players to play the game and losing this such record isn’t something that will keep him up at night, but it is an extra feather in Brathwaite’s cap, even if fans have criticised the stonewall blocking approach.

Longest individual innings (by minutes)

When the counter comes to minutes rather than balls, Brathwaite’s innings climbs the rankings. It may only come 21st in the list of longest innings from the last 25 years, but it’s the fifth longest in 10 years as well.

Spanning 710 minutes, Brathwaite spent the equivalent of nearly six sessions in the middle, almost equating to two entire days of play batting.

The numbers behind Brathwaite’s incredible knock

Being at the crease that long is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. With some fans speculating about the quality of Ben Foakes’ sledging as the England wicketkeeper remained chirpy throughout the test, given the length of time that Brathwaite was stood a close distance to Foakes, he would have been on the receiving end of his sly digs.

Brathwaite can’t join Gloucestershire again this season due to the county’s overseas spots being full already, but with the current West Indies captain hitting red ball form and the season fast approaching, they might have wished he was hanging around for an extra year.

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