Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite lead WI fightback
BRISBANE, Australia (CMC): Left-hander Darren Bravo was nearing a half-century as he led a West Indies fightback on the rain-hit opening day of their four-day tour match against a Cricket Australia XI here yesterday. Opting to bat first, West Indies finished on 154 for six, on a day at the Allan Border Field when only 60 overs were possible because of interruptions for weather. Bravo was unbeaten on 46 at the close, an innings that helped to stabilise the Caribbean side’s innings after they lay in virtual ruins at 83 for five inside the first hour after lunch. However, Bravo anchored two stands to revive the innings, adding 32 for the sixth wicket with captain Jason Holder, who scored 26, and a further 39 in an unbroken seventh wicket stand with Carlos Brathwaite, who was unbeaten on 25 at the close. Holder faced 34 balls and counted two fours and a six, while Brathwaite’s knock has required 46 deliveries and included a four and two sixes. Bravo has, so far, consumed 135 balls and included six fours and a six. He was missed on one off leg-spinner Cameron Boyce, but put his head down to be unbeaten on 11 when bad light forced lunch to be taken early at 52 for two. West Indies got a cautious start from Kraigg Brathwaite and Rajindra Chandrika, who put on 32 for the first wicket before both fell to 20-year-old seamer James Bazley within 34 balls of each other with just three runs added. Chandrika batted an hour and faced 45 deliveries for his 10 before missing a full length delivery and falling lbw, while Brathwaite hit 21 from 64 balls before driving at a wide delivery and nicking a catch to Josh Inglis at first slip. Marlon Samuels, unbeaten on six at lunch, scored a run-a-ball 19 with two fours and a six to put on 21 with Bravo, but was one of three wickets to fall for 17 runs as Jermaine Blackwood (1) and Denesh Ramdin (0) also perished cheaply. Bazley has so far taken two for 27, while fast bowler Simon Milenko has chipped in with two for 33. The game is the only tour fixture before West Indies face Australia in the opening Test in Hobart on December 10.