x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Bravo's brilliance against India has shades of cousin Lara

The top-six West Indies batsmen all scored a half-century or more, for only the fifth instance in the history of Test cricket.

West Indies’ Darren Bravo hit 166, as his side amassed 308 more runs on day two yesterday.
West Indies’ Darren Bravo hit 166, as his side amassed 308 more runs on day two yesterday.

Darren Bravo said he overcame illness to continue his fine run of form with a third century in four Tests to help the West Indies post a mammoth 575 for nine on the second day of the third and final Test against India yesterday.

Bravo, a cousin of the former West Indies batting great Brian Lara, dominated the India attack with a superb 166 as the tourists scored 308 runs on a batsmen's day after resuming at 267 for two.

"I was suffering from a little bit of flu over the last couple of days and I think it took a toll on me, but nevertheless I am quite satisfied with my performance and feeling good about the team's performance," Bravo said.

"I think I am in pretty good form and hopefully it can continue. As long as you apply yourself and assess the conditions as quickly as possible, there are runs to get on this … nice batting wicket."

Kieran Powell (81), who replaced the injured batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Marlon Samuels (61) also had productive days on a batting track at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The West Indies batting flourished for a second successive day, with the top-six batsmen all scoring a half-century or more - only the fifth instance in the history of Test cricket.

The left-handed pair of Bravo and Powell consolidated their team's position with a 160-run stand for the fourth wicket to virtually end India's hopes of making a clean sweep.

The hosts lead 2-0 in the series after winning the opening Test in New Delhi by five wickets and the second match in Kolkata by an innings and 15 runs.

Bravo's superb run in Test cricket began in Bangladesh where he scored 195 in Dhaka for his first hundred in his team's series-clinching victory early this month.

He then cracked an impressive 136 against India in the last innings of the Test in Kolkata before scoring a second successive hundred on Wednesday.

Bravo, 22, completed his century in the morning with an aggressive shot when he square-drove the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for a boundary. He hit 17 fours in his 284-ball knock.

"Bravo batted beautifully along with Powell. It was a bit of a challenge as there was hardly anything in the wicket," said Ashwin, who has so far taken four wickets, including two on Tuesday.

"The Wankhede (stadium) is probably a very sporting wicket, so it was quite disheartening to see the wicket behave the way it did."

Powell hit nine fours in his second half-century in four Tests before being caught behind off spinner Pragyan Ojha.

Bravo became the debutant seamer Varun Aaron's first Test victim, caught behind while attempting to drive.