Following an epic rearguard which helped raise hopes of a miraculous finish, West Indies batsman Darren Bravo has opened up on his thought process during the final day of the historic pink ball Test against Pakistan in Dubai. The stylish left-hander’s century briefly kept the Pakistani bowlers at bay before his vigil came to an end and so did the Caribbean outfit’s hopes.
Reflecting on his team’s 56-run defeat, Bravo felt, “It was a situation where I wanted to actually bat out the entire day. As long as I batted and spent a lot of time out in the middle, (it was) definitely going to frustrate the Pakistanis and start to dig in for us. I just wanted to bat and have a couple of partnerships and that would make it much easier.”
He added, “I think it was a very good batting wicket for the entire match but the thing was with the situation. If we had won the game today, we would have won the game in the last session or something like that so it was all about spending time in the middle and just waiting to launch in the end.
“Having said that, I think it was a tremendous effort. The guys really fought throughout the entire Test match even though the first two days in the entire Test match we were totally outplayed.”
Beginning the final day on 95/2, West Indies lost Marlon Samuels off the very first delivery of the day. However, Bravo held firm and built noteworthy partnerships with the lower middle-order to take his team closer to the 346-run target. Though they eventually lost the match by a narrow margin, the fact that the visitors even had a chance until the last session was all the more remarkable considering what had happened two or three days back.
Upon winning the toss, Pakistan rode on Azhar Ali’s stunning triple century to post a mammoth total. When West Indies completed their first innings, they were still 222 runs adrift. However, Misbah ul Haq did not choose to enforce the follow on and in their bid to accelerate for quick runs, the Pakistani batsmen floundered against Devendra Bishoo’s guile to get dismissed for 123 which meant that the final day was primed to be full of action.
Commending Azhar’s knock, Bravo admitted, “It was just a matter of spending time. I realized that as long as you spend time in the middle, you're going to score runs. Azhar Ali scored a triple-century, he batted a very very long time on a very very good batting wicket and I just wanted to spend time out in the middle.
“I didn't really concentrate on runs, I just wanted to bat for the entire day and I know as long as I do that, if not close to a hundred, I'll go past 100.”
On the leg-spinner’s magical spell, he enthused, “I don't think Bishoo bowled enough in the first innings and it was a conscious effort to give him the ball in the second innings to work his magic and that is exactly what he did. He put us in a very very good position and I'm really happy for him. He's someone that wishes everybody well, so it's always good to see him reap rewards for his hard work and hopefully he can continue for the rest of the series.”
The second Test between the two teams will be a usual day affair beginning on Friday at Abu Dhabi.