Kraigg Brathwaite struck a magnificent 183* for the West Indies on the opening day of their tour match against New Zealand A in Queenstown.

Many of the West Indies batsmen haven’t played any red-ball cricket since their tour of England in July, but you wouldn’t know it based on their performances so far in New Zealand.

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Darren Bravo cracked a marvellous 135 and Shamarh Brooks scored 80 in their first tour match last week and on Thursday, the runs flowed once again.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the tourists got off to a rapid start courtesy of Brathwaite and John Campbell, who shared an opening stand of 111.

Campbell was bowled on 45 by Blair Tickner in the 23rd over but Brathwaite was in for the long haul, with he and Bravo embarking on a mammoth partnership.

The Barbadian is the most patient and established member of the Windies top-order and he will be a key wicket for the Blackcaps in the upcoming Test series.

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Yet, he’ll be very hard to remove on this evidence, with the 27-year-old scoring freely through the off-side against the seamers and targeting the leg-side off the spinners.

He cracked 14 fours and a six in an unusually aggressive knock, while stand-in skipper, Bravo, was all class at the other end.

The Trinidadian fell seven runs short of a second consecutive century, but his 189-run partnership with Brathwaite took the West Indies to a commanding position.

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Brooks was the only batsman to miss out on the run-fest as he was dismissed by Michael Rae for 5, while Jermain Blackwood spent some valuable time at the crease late in the day, notching two boundaries on his way to 19* as the Windies reached 353/3 by the close.

None of New Zealand’s outstanding Test seamers are playing in this game and they will present a massive challenge to the tourists when proceedings move to Hamilton next week.

However, Kraigg Brathwaite has signalled his intent ahead of the series and his fellow West Indies batsmen look ready for a scrap.

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