Darren trying to emerge from Lara's shadow

Darren Bravo reached his third half-century in as many Tests AFP

Darren Bravo, who held the West Indies batting together on the opening day of the third cricket Test against Sri Lanka, is trying to emerge from the shadows of the great Brian Lara. Bravo's grandfather and Lara's mother were brother and sister, making him and Lara second cousins.

"Ever since I am a youngster and growing up I've always looked at Brian the way he bats," Bravo said. "No doubt people sort of try to compare me with the same batting style. Actually that's my way of batting; my natural way. It's very nice to go there and perform, entertain and just enjoy my international career. I just want to keep focussed and continue to do my best."

Bravo finished the day unbeaten on 63 out of a West Indies total of 134 for 2, having come in after Chris Gayle was caught plumb in front by Suranga Lakmal for a first-ball duck. "I just started my international career and there will be a lot of expectations. We all know what Brian has done in world cricket. It won't be something easy. I won't say I will be under pressure but at the same time a lot of people will be expecting. I can really do what I can do. It's up to the Lord above. Without him nothing is possible. I will play my natural game and obviously hope for the best."

Having marked his Test debut in Galle at the start of the series with 58, Bravo has continued to impress, notching up 80 in the drawn second test at the Premadasa Stadium and once again showing the same determination in this Test.

"I am 63 not out and hopefully I can go on from here and get a big one. I got two decent starts in the first two Test matches a bit disappointed in the second one. But it's all a learning experience and at international level it is important that I learn from my mistakes, and learn it pretty much faster."

Bravo said he enjoys playing on Sri Lankan wickets, and that they remind him of the wickets back in the Caribbean. "I am pretty used to these sorts of wickets; they are very nice wickets to bat on. I am enjoying it at the moment."

Commenting on the state of the game, Bravo said, "At this point we are 134 for 2, it is important that Shiv [Chanderpaul] and I continue and try and build a decent partnership and try our best to achieve our team goal. It doesn't matter what's going on over there. A coach might or may change the batting targets a bit but we have to wait until tomorrow to see how things go."