Brilliant Bravo restores pride

In an unprecedented show of guts and determination, the West Indies batsmen finally stood up to the Australians on tour. Bolstered by a fantastic century from Dwayne Bravo, who shared a partnership of 182 with Denesh Ramdin, the West Indies reached 334 all out.

Bravo entered at the dismal score of 133/5, and batted superbly for his second Test hundred, striking 15 fours in a knock of 113. The knock was characterized by outstanding defence and strong legside play, in the face of the largely unchanged bowling of Warne and MacGill.

Breathing life into the West Indies team, Bravo and Ramdin took the score from a deficit of 117 to a lead of 65, when MacGill broke through.

Following a fighting innings of 71, Ramdin was brilliantly caught by Warne at slip, driving at MacGill. The partnership lasted 57.2 overs and lifted the entire atmosphere of the West Indian effort from that of seemingly inevitable gloom to positive play and pride.

The fight did not start with the youngsters though. Earlier, Brian Lara batted keenly to attempt to find form and create something special for the West Indies once again. He and Marlon Samuels (29) survived a good early burst from McGrath and Lee, ticking along and growing in confidence.

Ultimately Lara was adjudged caught behind off Warne, though the decision appeared to present some doubt. He was gone for 45, and at 133/5, all seemed lost. Samuels was caught bat/pad at short leg just 7 runs later, as the typical West Indian procession seemed imminent.

Not on this day. Both batsmen survived early nerves and progressively played themselves in on a pitch that was still good for batting, even on the fourth day.

Australia threw everything at the pair. MacGill, who came as the first change, bowled 26 overs in the innings, and was rewarded with 2/69. Nursing a back ailment, Shane Warne delivered 39 outstanding overs, and returned figures of 4/112.

Late in the day, MacGill had Powell LBW, padding up to a googly. Replays suggested the ball would have missed the stumps, but it ended a purposeful 19-ball innings, albeit for a duck. Bravo’s innings finally ended in an unusual manner, as he charged down the track at Warne, and was bowled around his legs. Warne snared Collymore caught behind for a duck to wrap up in the innings in the next over. Fidel Edwards was left unbeaten on 2.

Australia will now head to the fifth day for the first time in the series, needing 77 runs for a series-sealing victory.

West Indies 149
Chris Gayle 56, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 39
Glenn McGrath 4/31, Stuart MacGill 3/18

Australia 406
Michael Hussey 137, Matthew Hayden 110
Fidel Edwards 3/116, Corey Collymore 2/54

West Indies 338
Dwayne Bravo 113, Denesh Ramdin 71
Shane Warne 4/112, Glenn McGrath 2/29

Australia needs 77 runs for victory with one day remaining.
Australia leads the three test series 1-0.

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