Canberra, Australia – Darren Bravo made the highest score of his limited-overs career on his 24th birthday, but ended on the losing side as the West Indies went under to Australia in the high-scoring third One-Day International on Wednesday.
The classy left-hander was moved up to the Number 3 position in the batting order and made 86 off 96 balls to keep the Windies in the game until the very end, before they fell 39 runs short of Australia’s 329-7 off 50 overs.
Bravo added a superb third-wicket stand of 114 with his older brother Dwayne, who made 51 off 50 balls on a good pitch at the Manuka Oval. Opener Kieran Powell was again positive at the top of the order with 47 off 49 balls, while at the end Andre Russell hit 43 off 31 balls to maintain the run-chase.
The result was the West Indies’ third defeat of the series, giving the home side an unassailable 3-0 lead. The final two matches will both be day/nighters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday and the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
"It thought Dwayne and myself played pretty well, we had a decent partnership. However, we needed to bat a bit longer, obviously spending more time in the middle. As a team we showed great character tonight. Chasing 300-plus runs was going to be difficult, but we stayed in the game up until the very end," Bravo said.
"I believe we can keep our heads high. From the start we felt we had a good chance of winning. Knowing [the power] we have at the back-end with the likes of Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and the captain Darren Sammy, we felt once we got the right kind of start we could set-up the game."
Wednesday’s knock was the eighth half-century of Bravo’s career and equalled the 86 he made against India at Sabina Park, Jamaica back in June, 2011. However, he said he was disappointed he missed out on a good chance to register his first century.
"We got a good start from Devon Thomas and Kieran Powell, and then Dwayne and myself were able to bat through the middle overs. We are disappointed that we did not go all the way to the finish, but we will go to Sydney and Melbourne with the confidence that we can pull it back.
"It is very important for us to bounce back and play with pride in those two matches. We don’t want to come here and lose 5-0 so there is still a lot to do. We are going to go back to the drawing board and look to understand where we went wrong and get it right."
During the Australia innings, Kieron Pollard held a record four catches, including an amazing one-handed jumping catch on the deep mid-wicket boundary. Bravo said it was one of the best catches he has ever seen.
"He is tremendous in the field and what he did was simply amazing. He has set the standards very high and he is someone we look at out in the field. He is a very hard worker and for a big man he moves around very quickly," Bravo added. "He is someone we try to emulate when we are out in the outfield. He is exceptional in the field."
The two team travel to Sydney on Thursday for the fourth ODI which will be played on Friday. First ball is 2:20 pm (11:20 pm Thursday Eastern Caribbean Time/10:20 pm Jamaica Time).
Full Schedule of matches
Friday 1: 1st ODI – Australia won by 9 wickets at WACA, Perth
Sunday 3: 2nd ODI – Australia won by 54 runs at WACA, Perth
Wednesday 6: 3rd ODI – Australia won by 39 runs at Manuka Oval, Canberra
Friday 8: 4th ODI – SCG, Sydney
Sunday 10: 5th ODI – MCG, Melbourne
Wednesday 13: T20 International – The Gabba, Brisbane