Lara to Bravo: Go out, make a name for yourself
MARK GEENTY IN DUNEDIN
Darren Bravo's room was plastered with photos of his cousin and cricketing idol Brian Lara when he was child.
Yesterday, as the Trinidadian carved his own piece of West Indies cricket history with 210 not out against New Zealand in the first test in Dunedin, his hero and batting great received a big chunk of the plaudits.
''After the first day of the match he [Lara] messaged me to find out what the score was. He said it was very important that I go out there and make a name for myself, let the world get to know the true Darren Bravo,'' he said.
''As a kid growing up, whenever Brian's photo was in the newspaper or a magazine I would cut it out and stick it up all over my room. Everything I wanted was to be just like Brian. I look up to him a lot. He has been there for me ever since and that's something I hold very close to my heart.''
And when Bravo rumbled past 150, Lara was following his progress in the middle of the night in London, and tweeted: ''Keep it going DMBravo''.
The 24-year-old became the 26th West Indies batsman, Lara included, to score a test double-century when he edged Ish Sodhi for two, leaping and punching the air as his captain Darren Sammy enveloped him in a bear hug.
There was a bit of Lara in his batting, too, with the exaggerated backlift, the leap and the savage square drives.
Playing just his 26th test, Bravo notched his fifth century, all of them in a foreign country. ntsGoffshorente His average in away tests currently stands at an imposing 59.64, compared with 29.88 at home.
After some nerves on 199 with the crowd chanting, he topped his highest test score of 195 against Bangladesh, and his innings was the third-highest by a West Indies batsman in New Zealand, after Seymour Nurse (258 in Christchurch in 1969) and Gordon Greenidge (213 in Auckland in 1987).
Those two will be in his sights today as he tries to save the test for the West Indies, leading by just 47 with four wickets in hand.
''Before I left India, I didn't really perform well, but I was spending an hour, hour-and-a-half at the wicket but I wasn't scoring big runs,'' he said.
''I remember telling Kieran Powell that I'm going to score a double hundred in New Zealand. I just backed myself. I knew I was going to have a special innings.''
For a man who'd batted over nine hours, faced 404 balls and hit 30 boundaries, he seemed remarkably fresh and wasn't thinking just a draw.
''Hopefully we can carry on where we left off from today. We can score pretty fast. Hopefully we can leave New Zealand some sort of runs to get.''
- © Fairfax NZ News