Bravo dream run continues

2011-11-23 14:11
Darren Bravo (AFP)

Mumbai - Darren Bravo continued his dream run with a third century in four Tests to help the West Indies post a mammoth 575-9 on the second day of the third and final Test against India on Wednesday.

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 267-2.

Kieran Powell (81), who replaced injured batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Marlon Samuels (61) also made merry 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.

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.

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 early 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, 57 overnight, 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.

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.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also pressed part-timers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag into the attack in a desperate bid to break the Bravo-Powell stand before Aaron struck thrice in four overs in the evening.

Aaron also bowled Carlton Baugh (four) and had skipper Darren Sammy (three) caught by wicket-keeper Dhoni, who took five catches.

He nearly got another wicket but Dhoni missed a difficult chance off Samuels when the batsman was on 46.

Ashwin has so far taken four wickets, including two on Tuesday.

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.

Edwards, 65 overnight, looked set for his third century in six Tests as he began on an impressive note, flicking and pulling Aaron for two fours in the opening hour.

He hit 13 fours in his 165-ball knock and added 164 for the third wicket with Bravo.

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