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By CricketCountry Staff
Mumbai: Nov 24, 2011
Darren Bravo’s third century in four Tests and half-centuries by all the five top-order batsmen saw the West Indies reach a mammoth first-innings score of 575 for nine by stumps on the second day of the third and last cricket Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Left-handed Bravo, drawing comparisons with his more illustrious cousin Brian Lara for his fluent strokeplay, looked good for his maiden double century till he became debutant fast bowler Varun Aaron’s first of three Test victims after scoring 166 in a marathon knock which ended in the post-tea session. He hit 17 well-struck fours and faced 284 balls.
Resuming at overnight 267/2, the West Indies maintained a brisk run rate, scoring 308 runs in the day — 111 in the first session, 116 in the second, and 81 in the last when five wickets fell in a heap for just 48 runs.
Bravo was involved in two big partnerships, 164 for the third wicket with overnight batsman Kirk Edwards (86, 165 balls, 13×4) and 160 with Kieran Powell (81, 149 balls, 9×4. His fifth-wicket stand with Marlon Samuels (61, 130 balls, 9 fours) was cut short at 44.
It was a hard day for the Indians on the field on a benign pitch, forcing Mahendra Singh Dhoni to use as many as seven bowlers, but the West Indies batsmen carried on from where they had left off Tuesday evening at 267 for two.
Aaron’s three wickets cost him 104 runs while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got four for 154, while Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha had to be content with a wicket apiece. Dhoni aided them taking five catches.
Bravo made his intentions clear right from the start, cracking Aaron for fours off the first two balls of the day. In the young fast bowler’s next over, Edwards went one better, hitting him for three fours.
Ishant finally gave the Indian team something to cheer for by removing Edwards before lunch with an excellent delivery that pitched just outside off and took the outside edge of the bat.
Powell, who came in for injured Shivnarine Chanderpaul after failing as an opener in the first Test, kept the scoreboard moving at a fast clip. He struck six boundaries in the first six overs he faced and the 50-run stand for the fourth-wicket came up off just 66 balls.
Soon, Bravo got to his third Test century in style with a four off Ashwin.
Powell, however, slowed down later and along with Bravo kept rotating the strike as India went on the defensive. Powell reached his half-century off 91 deliveries.
Indian spinners bowled an astonishing 22 overs in an hour after lunch but without much success.
It was completely against the run of play that India got the second wicket of the day as Powell attempted a late cut off left-arm spinner Ojha. Dhoni snapped up the snick.
India tasted success shortly after tea as Aaron dismissed Bravo, slashing at an away going delivery and succeeding in edging it to Dhoni. The wicket triggered the late-order collapse.
Brief Scores: West Indies 575 for 9 (Darren Bravo 166, Kirk Edwards 86, Kieran Powell 81, Kraigg Brathwaite 68, Adrian Barath 62; R Ashwin 4 for 154, Varun Aaron 3 for 106, Ishant Sharma 1 for 72, Pragyan Ojha 1 for 126) vs India
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