West Indies double-century maker Tagenarine Chanderpaul told reporters, “this is the best feeling in the world, scoring a century in Test cricket. I was just trying out there to get a start again and bat as long and as deep as possible. The pitch is like some in the Caribbean, and I am feeling happy, excited, overjoyed, all the feelings that you could imagine.”
The younger Chanderpaul became the first West Indies opener other than Kraig Brathwaite to score a hundred since Chris Gayle struck 101 against the same opponents eight years ago at Windsor Park in Dominica, breaking a sequence of 12 unmatched from his more illustrious partner.
It was also the first time since Gayle scored 150 and fellow left-hander Kieron Powell made 134 against New Zealand nine years ago at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua that both West Indies openers have scored a century in the same Test innings.
Also, the last time an opening pair for the Caribbean side had shared a double-hundred stand.
Chanderpaul also appeared to have solved a persistent headache for the selection panel, currently led by former Barbados captain and Windies opener, Desmond Haynes, about a long-term partner for Brathwaite at the top of the order.
The situation had become more acute late last year when fellow left-hander, John Campbell was slapped with a lengthy ban for an anti-doping violation, which opened the door for the selectors to try Chanderpaul in the position in the tour of Australia.
Together, Brathwaite and Chanderpaul also set a West Indies record for the highest stand of any wicket against the Zimbabweans and joined elite company in sharing only the 10th double-century opening stand for the Caribbean side since their first ever Test 95 years ago.
“Kraigg is someone that values his wicket, so just keep speaking to me,” Chanderpaul said. He said his skipper urged him to not give it away and keep battling.
“A Test match is five days, so that’s lots of time, and there is no need to force anything. You just need to try to score when the opportunity presents itself, get singles and build your innings gradually,” said Chanderpaul.