Spirited Bravo lifts Windies from the ashes

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SummaryNew Zealand’s bowling was not as good as it had been in the first innings, nor was the pitch as lively.

Darren Bravo made a potentially match-saving double century to lead the West Indies to 443 for 6 at stumps on the fourth day of the first Test on Friday, frustrating New Zealand and preventing the tourists’ third-straight innings defeat in Tests. Bravo’s fifth century and highest Test score — surpassing his 195 against Bangladesh two years ago — saw the West Indies edge into the lead, 47 runs ahead. The visitors are following-on, having been bowled out for 213 in their first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 609-9 declared.

By stumps, Bravo was 210 not out and captain Darren Sammy 44.

Kirk Edwards and Narsingh Deonarine made half-centuries, while Ish Sodhi has 2 for 130 to be the only bowler with more than one wicket.

The loss of two wickets in the first half hour on Friday, including the key dismissal of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 1, left the West Indies 185 for 4 and apparently with little hope of avoiding an innings defeat to follow those they suffered in each of their two Tests against India last month.

But Bravo refused to abandon his team to that fate and by stumps had batted 558 minutes, including all of day four, to make the match a contest.

He shared critical partnerships of 122 for the fifth wicket with Deonarine (52), 57 with Dinesh Ramdin (24) for the sixth wicket and had added 80 in an unbroken stand with Sammy by stumps. His innings wasn’t chanceless but if he made an error he quickly recomposed himself and continued a stand, which steadily eroded the control New Zealand had enjoyed after Ross Taylor (217 not out) and Brendon McCullum (113) assembled the home team’s massive first innings. At 195, Bravo passed his previous highest Test score but then was briefly becalmed, unable to find a gap in the field through which to thread the run he needed to complete his double century.

Nine-hour effort

He finally edged a ball wide of first slip for the single that completed a double century from 390 balls in exactly nine hours.

Bravo had 28 boundaries in his 200 and

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