Brave Bravo hits sparking 136 but Windies lose at Eden

Left-hander "sad" ton was not enough

"Humbled" to be compared to Lara

Kolkata, India — Darren Bravo, the young West Indies batsman, took several steps forward in his international career on Thursday as he made a masterful 136 in the second innings of the second Test at the historic Eden Gardens.


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With the Windies backs to the wall, the left-hander stood up manfully with a brave display of strokes to reach his second Test century in three matches. He counted 88 runs in boundaries as the visitors made 463 in the second innings, the highest score by a West Indies team when asked to follow-on.

The tourists, dismissed for 153 in their first innings in reply to India’s 631-7 declared, batted much better in the second innings but still went down by an innings and 15 runs just before the tea break on the fourth day. India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber with one match left.

Bravo, the brother of all rounder Dwayne Bravo and cousin of legend Brian Lara, said the key to his innings was self belief.

"I played my natural game as much as possible and the shots came off. I am happy with my performance. In the second innings, we decided to come together as a team, play our strokes and express ourselves in the best possible way. Batting with (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul gave me a lot of confidence. I worked on my concentration a lot more," the 22-year-old Bravo said.

"Before the match I decided I would try something new in the nets. I batted without a pad so I had to get my bat in front of my foot and prevent the ball from hitting my foot. I employed the same technique in this match where I made sure I got the bat way out front against the spinners and got the results.

"It is a obviously a sad feeling at the same time as it (century) was not enough to earn us a draw in this match. After being bowled out cheaply in the first innings, making India bat again was an uphill task, but we can hold our heads high with our performance in the second innings."

Bravo’s knock was the 100th century for West Indies against India and he now has 941 runs at an average of 47.05 in 12 Test matches. Amazingly, at the same stage in his career, Lara also had 941 runs at 47.05.

"I am quite honoured by the fact that I am compared with Brian Lara. He is definitely my role model. I play my natural game and look something like Lara, but nevertheless I know that emulating him and to achieve what he has achieved will be difficult. I just look to play the way I know how and do my best for West Indies. Before we went to Bangladesh I spoke to my brother and he told me that once the burden of my first Test century was lifted the others would follow. I got my first in Dhaka two weeks ago and now I got my second here today," he said.

Bravo shared in two brilliant partnerships. He added 108 with Shiv Chanderpaul, who made 47 and 132 in 28 overs with Marlon Samuels, who played some stunning strokes in 84 off 111 balls. On the third day Kirk Edwards (60) and Adrian Barath (62) took the fight to the Indian bowlers with a second wicket stand of 93.

"In the second innings, we decided to come together as a team, play our strokes and express ourselves in the best possible way. The coach spoke to everyone and said we had to ‘stand up and fight’ for West Indies cricket. The guys played pretty well. It was good to see Adrian and Kirk bat well at the top of the order, and Marlon Samuels later. It’s good to know that it is not just Chanderpaul that we can depend on to get the big scores."

The two teams will travel to Mumbai on Saturday ahead of the third and final Test which starts on Tuesday. Bravo is eagerly looking forward to that match.

"We will play with a lot of pride and passion. We know what went wrong with our performance in the first match and here, so obviously our preparations will be to better our performance. We won’t be backing down. We will go out looking for a win," he said.