Darren Bravo was only WI batsman to stick around © Getty Images
Darren Bravo was only WI batsman to stick around © Getty Images

Brisbane: The West Indies struggled on the rain-hit opening day of their Australian tour against a modestly talented Cricket Australia XI in Brisbane on Wednesday. Only 60 overs’ play was possible on the first day of the four-day game at Allan Border Field ahead of next week’s first Test in Hobart. The Windies were restricted to 154 for six with Darren Bravo not out 46 at stumps. The inexperienced tourists gave no grounds for optimism about the upcoming three-Test series, even though the CA XI featured six players new to first-class cricket. The lowly-ranked Windies rested pace spearhead Jerome Taylor but their batting line-up was expected to be the same as for the Bellerive Oval Test starting on December 10. ALSO READ:Richie Richardson: West Indies should back themselves against Australia

Bravo was dropped on one trying to slog legspinner Cameron Boyce out of the ground but remained unbeaten at stumps. The tourists were 52-2 when lunch was taken early. After resuming they lost three wickets for 31 before Bravo and captain Jason Holder steadied the ship. Holder struck two fours and a six in his 34-ball knock of 26, dominating a sixth-wicket stand of 32 before being caught behind off Queensland quick Simon Milenko (2-33). Bravo put on 39 for the unbroken seventh wicket with Carlos Brathwaite (25 not out), the highest stand so far of the innings.

Rain forced the players off the field for the final time 30 minutes into the last session. ALSO READ: Sunil Narine backed by West Indies Cricket Board after facing ban for illegal action

Earlier, caribbean great Richie Richardson on Tuesday urged the maligned West Indian tourists to back themselves and take on Australia in the coming three-Test series. The Windies are a pale imitation of their glory days a quarter of a century ago and have been largely written off by the pundits as they embark on their tour of Australia. The West Indies, last won a Test in Australia in 1997 and last won a series Down Under in 1992-93.  But Richardson, the Windies team manager, called on his young and inexperienced touring team to believe they can upset Steve Smith’s Australians on their own pitches.