Darren Bravo continued his dream run 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.
Bravo, cousin of former West Indies batting great Brian Lara, dominated the Indian attack with a superb 166 as the tourists scored 308 runs on a batsmen’s day after resuming at 267 for two.
Kieran Powell (81), brought in as a replacement for injured batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Marlon Samuels (61) also made merry on a batting track at the Wankhede Stadium
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 shatter 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.
Powell hit nine fours in his second half-century in four Tests before being caught behind off spinner Pragyan Ojha while Bravo became
debutant seamer Varun Aaron’s first Test victim, caught behind while attempting to drive.
Bravo, the highlight of the day
The day belonged to Bravo, whose superb run in Test cricket began in Bangladesh where he scored 195 in Dhaka for his maiden hundred in his team’s series-clinching victory earlier this month.
The 22-year-old then cracked a brilliant 136 against India in the last innings of the previous Test in Kolkata before scoring a second successive hundred on Wednesday.
Bravo, resuming on 57, completed his century in
the morning with an aggressive shot when he square-drove off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for a boundary. He hit 17 fours in his 284-ball knock.
“I was suffering from a little bit of flu over the last couple of days and I think it took a toll on me,” said Bravo. “But nevertheless I’m quite satisfied with my performance and feeling good about the team’s show.
I think I’m 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.”
India bowlers toil
It was another frustrating day for India on a pitch offering no help to bowlers as they could take just two wickets in the opening two sessions, with paceman Ishant Sharma and Ojha bagging one each.
“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. “This is probably a very sporting pitch, so it was quite disheartening to see it behave the way it did.”
India captain MS Dhoni also pressed Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag into the attack in a desperate bid to break the Bravo-Powell stand before Aaron struck thrice in the evening.
Sharma was rewarded for his hard work in the opening session when he had Kirk Edwards (86) caught behind with a delivery that moved away.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2011.
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