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Bravo leads great escape

Monday, December 09, 2013

DUNEDIN, New Zealand - Darren Bravo's match-saving innings against New Zealand has helped continue a remarkable run of sides avoiding defeat when following on if a player scores a double century.

Bravo's 218 was compiled over more than nine-and-a-half hours and, when rain descended on Dunedin's University Oval on Saturday, he joined the ranks of six others who had passed the 200-mark when asked to bat for a second time and saved the match.

The 24-year-old left-hander, a cousin of Brian Lara, produced the kind of innings reminiscent of the West Indian great.

"Credit must go to Darren Bravo. He did exactly what was needed," captain Darren Sammy said after his side saved the Test despite a 396-run first-innings deficit.

"I guess even the great Lara would have been proud of that innings. It was a match-saving innings and we are all happy for him."

Sammy said after being written off by a New Zealand commentator as the worst West Indies team to tour the country, it was a morale boost for the side to save the Test from the position they found themselves in after the first innings.

"From the situation of being asked to follow on with a deficit of 400, it was important that we occupy the crease for long periods and I bet, on the third day, nobody expected us to be here," said Sammy, who contributed 80 as the West Indies made 507 in their second innings.

Opposing captain Brendon McCullum praised Bravo's knock but also reserved mention for Sammy's role in their fightback.

"We knew they're a team, when they're under pressure, (who) find a way to get themselves out of it."