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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2004, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Bravo brightens Windies outlook
By Bryn Palmer

Even before their thrilling victory in the Champions Trophy final, West Indies knew they could return home with at least one tangible reward from their English summer.

Dwayne Bravo celebrates running out Yasir Hameed in the Champions Trophy semi-final
Bravo's celebrations match his athleticism in the field
Dwayne Bravo may not be in the Andrew Flintoff class yet, but the 20-year-old has announced himself as an all-rounder of substance.

Bravo spent the early part of the summer impressing in a losing cause as the Windies were whitewashed 4-0 by England in the Test series.

The Trinidadian made 44 on his debut at Lord's, posted two half centuries in the remainder of the series and took 16 wickets, including 6-55 at Old Trafford.

And he leaves England with a further reminder of his burgeoning talent after his brilliant fielding in their Champions Trophy semi-final.

Pakistan, despite tricky conditions, had reached 65-1 at the Rose Bowl when Yasir Hameed opted to chance his arm against Bravo's at deep point.

It proved an injudicious decision as the ball whistled in over the stumps in a flash for a decisive run-out.

Bravo then brought his awkward medium pacers to bear by inducing edges from Shoaib Malik and dangerman Yousuf Youhana.

He then repeated his earlier trick of a whirlwind throw, in from third man, to run out Abdul Razzaq, and suddenly Pakistan were 109-5 and heading for defeat.

"I think I have fielded well throughout the tournament and I have been working hard on it," Bravo said.

"In one-day cricket you have to get to the ball as quickly as possible and release it as quickly as you can."

A simple approach perhaps, but then Bravo has benefited from following the advice of his mentor, one Brian Charles Lara.

Dwayne Bravo celebrates a wicket in the Champions Trophy semi-final
I am always anxious to take wickets
Dwayne Bravo
The pair both hail from the same town, Santa Cruz, in Trinidad, and the youngster is evidently happy and capable of following his captain's advice.

"Brian told me to be smart, think the game, play simply but positively before I went out to bat in my first Test," Bravo recalls.

He has not yet shown the same aptitude with the bat in one-day cricket, with a highest score of 33 not out in his nine innings to date.

But innings of 100 not out off 65 balls in a tour warm-up game in Ireland and 118 against Sri Lanka A at Shenley in July underlined his potential.

And his progress with the ball suggests it will not be long before he is contributing even more to the cause.

His skiddy, deceptively quick, style was ideal for carrying out the West Indies game-plan against Pakistan.

"Keep it simple, outside off-stump, let them make mistakes, let them come to us, don't try too many things, don't fight the wicket," Bravo said.

"I am always anxious to take wickets. I enjoy taking wickets and big wickets are a great joy for me and the whole team."

This has hardly been the greatest of English summers for West Indies, but at least one tourist has reaped a bountiful harvest.




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