In November, Darren Bravo reminded his fans and the custodians of West Indies cricket of his value throughout the just-concluded Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup series.
Excluded from the Windies teams that recently played Afghanistan in all three formats, and not among those who will face India in upcoming T20 and One-Day series, Bravo used his time away from international cricket to begin rebuilding his career.
Although the Queen’s Park Oval was basically empty for all of the matches in the tournament except for a few die-hard fans, the stylish left-hander from Santa Cruz stamped his authority on the region’s top bowlers to score 481 runs at an average of 96.20 with one century and four half centuries.
He was the top batsmen in the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force line-up and used his experience and skill to dig the home team out of trouble on more than a few occasions.
“Class is class” was Red Force skipper Imran Khan’s reaction to Bravo’s welcome return to form following a run of low scores which led to him being eventually dropped by the Windies after his return this year after being exiled from international cricket for two years.
With scores of 115 not out, 26 not out, 50, 20, 58, 98 and 34 which featured some classic drives through the covers and crisp shots down the ground, Bravo is definitely getting back to his best run-making self.
However, just as things were starting to come together with the bat for the 30-year-old, who has an all-format contract with the West Indies team, his fielding came under the microscope in the Super50 semi-final loss to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes on Friday night.
He put down a rampaging Jahmar Hamilton on 33 and the Hurricanes skipper went on to slam an unbeaten 78 off 34 balls in a close four-wicket win with three balls to spare.
Bravo was visibly upset with himself after that incident but held on to a similar chance at the same long-on position to get rid of Keacy Carty for 53 but in the end the Hamilton chance proved crucial.
Despite that lapse, though, he would have done enough to earn the tag of Express Star of the Month for November for proving that he still has the desire to play at the highest level.
Other notable performances in November came from Bravo’s teammate Jason Mohammed who scored a century and three half-centuries to tally 357 runs in the Super50, while Jeremy Solozano hit his maiden regional 50-over century to tally 254 in the competition.
Also, Yannic Cariah, not included in the Red Force squad for the Super50, had the satisfaction of leading the unheralded West Indies Emerging Players to the Super50 title. Despite not having a prolific tournament with either the bat or ball, Cariah helped to deliver the title for his team with a Man-of-the-Match effort in the final.