Bravo fights off flu to hit magical 166

Mumbai, India — Darren Bravo fought off a bout of influenza to play a superb innings as the West Indies kept India in the field for the second consecutive day in the third and final Test match on Wednesday.

The left-hander, who started the match feeling a little weak, played a number of memorable strokes in his 166 as the Windies ended the second day 575-9 off 181 overs at the Wankhede Stadium. He faced 184 balls and hit 17 boundaries to record his third Test century in six innings.

Darren Bravo

“I came into this match with a bit of the flu but I was determined not to let it keep me down. I only hit about 10 balls in the nets on Sunday and didn’t even bat in the nets on Monday in the build-up to the match. I wasn’t feeling very well. I knew however that I had to stand up for the team and give it all I had in me. I think I became a bit tired, with the flu over the last couple of days, and I think it took a toll on me there at the end of my innings,” Bravo said after Wednesday’s play.

Bravo’s innings was his second highest overall in Test, behind the match-winning 195 against Bangladesh in Dhaka. His other century was the 135 made last week in the second innings of the second Test in Kolkata. It was the third highest by a West Indian against India at Wankhede Stadium   the top two innings being Clive Lloyd’s 242 not out in January, 1975 and 187 by Alvin Kallicharran in December, 1978.

The 22-year-old started the second day on 57 and drove the first ball of the day down the ground for a boundary to reach 1,000 runs in Test cricket.  He has performed very well in his first 13 Tests and now has 1,107 at an average of 52.71. This year he has scored 901 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 50.05 per innings.

“I think I am in pretty good form at this point in time and hopefully it can continue. It was very important for me to stay positive as much as possible. I batted well in the last innings at Eden Gardens and I just came here and looked to carry on and get a big score for the team. I was hitting the ball really and finding the gaps so I knew once I stayed at the crease I could get a good score here. As batsmen we are very happy with the way we played and this has given the team a huge boost,” Bravo said.

Bravo and Kirk Edwards (86) shared a stand of 164 for the third wicket; while Bravo and Kieran Powell (81) put on 160 for the fourth wicket. The top six batsmen all made over 50   the first time such a feat was achieved by a West Indies team and just the fifth time in Test match history.

“The openers did a tremendous job to get us off to a good start on the first morning and our Number 3, Kirk Edwards also played really well. That gave me a good platform and when you come in on that platform you try and continue from where they left off. We have all been working hard and it is good to see that we have been getting some results. The aim is to strive for consistency.”

Bravo also said that the Windies will look to give their all when the Indian batsmen come to the crease.

“I think the wicket is a decent batting wicket. There is a bit of spin for the spinners but I think our fast bowlers can get something from the wicket the longer they bowl in the right areas,” Bravo said.

“We have Ravi Rampaul and Fidel Edwards who can close in on 90 miles per hour, so we are going to go out there with high energy, we are going to go out there positive and try our best to get their top order in very early.”

Wed, 11/23/2011 - 15:23