Australia 406 West Indies 149 & 334: Bravo and Ramdin combine to carry fight to Australia

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The Independent Online

Undeterred, possibly even motivated, by yet another appalling decision against their most influential batsman, the two youngest members of the West Indies team combined to at last carry the fight to Australia on the fourth day of the second Test here yesterday.

A seventh-wicket partnership of 182 between Dwayne Bravo, aged 22, and Denesh Ramdin, 20, part of the youth brigade on whom the overdue revival of West Indies cricket depends, averted what appeared a certain innings defeat following the harsh verdict on a catch at the wicket against Brian Lara off the bowling of Shane Warne.

The two came together when Marlon Samuels was Warne's second victim to a short-leg catch within 10 minutes of Lara's removal. They stayed together to carry the total past the deficit of 257 and the match into the final day, even though Australia only require 78 to formalise their second victory of the three-Test series.

Bravo compiled 113, his second hundred in his eighth Test, before he was ninth out 10 minutes before the day's end. Wicketkeeper Ramdin, a fellow Trinidadian, confirmed his reputation for composure and common sense that earned him the captaincy of the Under-19 team to the Youth World Cup last year, with 71, his highest score in his fourth Test.

Their partnership was second only to the phenomenal record 347 put on by Denis Atkinson and Clairemonte dePeiza, also against Australia, in Barbados 50 years ago, that stands as the overall high for the wicket for all teams, not only the West Indies.

Yesterday's stand was characterised principally by wristy strokes off the legs from both Bravo and Ramdin. The value of their stand was enhanced by the proven quality and experience of an attack of Warne, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Stuart MacGill with 327 Tests and close to 1,580 wickets between them.

Most of Bravo's 15 fours, from 203 balls in a stay of four hours and 50 minutes, were on the leg-side. But none was better than a punch off the back foot past cover that whistled across the lush outfield in an over from Lee that brought 10.

Ramdin was the ideal partner. Seeking to score at every opportunity, mainly with a productive sweep, but always tight in defence, he spent just under four hours defying the Australians until Warne seized a sharp, low catch at slip off an intended drive.

Bravo and Ramdin have played together in Trinidad and Tobago teams at all levels. Their understanding of each other's game was obvious in their urgent running between the wickets and their constant verbal contact between overs, sometimes between balls.

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