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Dominant India in driver�s seat

By The Assam Tribune

NORTH SOUND (ANTIGUA), July 24: A dominant India left a hapless West Indies on the verge of a possible innings defeat at 21 for one in their second innings after being asked to follow-on on the third day of the opening Test, here.

After a brilliant display from the willow-wielders, Indian bowlers too joined the party and bundled out West Indies for 243 to take a huge first innings lead of 323 runs.

Coming back after one and a half year injury layoff, Mohammad Shami (4-66) and Umesh Yadav (4-41) took four wickets each to wreck the hosts, dismissing them for 243 with 13 overs still remaining in the day. But that was after Shane Dowrich (57 not out, 10 fours) and skipper Jason Holder (36) put on 69 runs for the eighth wicket.

India then enforced the follow-on. At stumps the hosts were placed at 21/1 in 13 overs in their second innings, still trailing by 302 runs after the visitors had finished their first innings at 566 for eight declared.

Earlier at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Dowrich and Holder looked good in the middle and kept the scoreboard ticking for the duration of their partnership, with the West Indies� 200-mark coming up in the 81st over and their 50-run stand coming off 80 balls.

The new ball was taken thereafter, with R Ashwin (0-43) starting but he soon gave way to Yadav and Shami. Dowrich meanwhile got to his second Test half-century off 75 balls, even as runs started flowing owing to the hardness of the new ball.

But it didn�t last long as Yadav finally induced an edge off Holder in the 86th over, caught behind by keeper Wriddhiman Saha. It was his sixth dismissal of the innings and he equalled the Indian record held by both Farokh Engineer and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Yadav then bowled Carlos Brathwaite (0) off the very first ball, as the burly batsman shouldered arms to an incoming delivery. Amit Mishra (2-43) then ended the resistance and bowled Shannon Gabriel (2).

Trailing by 323 runs, the West Indies were asked to follow on, and Ishant Sharma (1-3) managed to remove the in-form Kraigg Brathwaite (2) in the very first over, trapping him LBW. Thereafter, Rajendra Chandrika (9 batting) and Darren Bravo (10 batting) successfully negotiated the remaining overs without further loss.

Earlier, post lunch, it was an improved display by the Indian bowlers who looked to change their line and length from the morning. And the change could be seen almost immediately as Shami started proceedings after the break. He kept both Brathwaite (74 runs) and Marlon Samuels (1) guessing, inducing an edge off the latter in the 49th over.

Four deliveries later, it became a double blow, as Jermaine Blackwood (0) was unable to fend off a sharp rising delivery and was caught at gully by Ajinkya Rahane.

Thereafter a short partnership developed between Brathwaite and debutant Roston Chase (23) and they looked comfortable at the crease for the duration of their 47-run stand.

Brathwaite went on to score his 9th Test fifty off 156 deliveries, while the West Indies� 100-mark came up in the 51st over. Indian skipper Virat Kohli then went on the offensive and played around with his fielding combinations, putting in as many as five close-in catching positions for his pacers.

The trick worked as Yadav broke through, first dismissing Chase who was caught at midwicket with Kohli doing the necessary catching himself. Two overs later, the same aggressive fielding worked as Brathwaite was forced to fend off a short delivery instead of pulling it, and edged behind to keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who affected his fifth dismissal of the innings.


India 1st innings: 566/8 declared

West Indies 1st innings (overnight 31/1): K Brathwaite c Saha b Yadav 74, R Chandrika c Saha b Shami 16, D Bishoo st Saha b Mishra 12, D Bravo c Saha b Shami 11, M Samuels c Saha b Shami 1, J Blackwood c Rahane b Shami 0, R Chase c Kohli b Yadav 23, S Dowrich not out 57, J Holder c Saha b Yadav 36, C Brathwaite b Yadav 0, S Gabriel b Mishra 2. Extras: (B-4, LB-2, W-2, NB-3) 11. Total: (all out in 90.2 overs) 243. Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-68, 3-90, 4-92, 5-92, 6-139, 7-144, 8-213, 9-213. Bowling: Ishant 20-7-44-0, Yadav 18-8-41-4, Shami 20-4-66-4, Ashwin 17-5-43-0, Mishra 15.2-4-43-2.

West Indies 2nd innings (following on): K Brathwaite lbw b Sharma 2, R Chandrika not out 9, D Bravo not out 10. Extras: 0. Total: (13 overs, 1 wkt) 21. Fall of wicket: 1-2. Bowling: Ishant 4-2-3-1, Shami 4-3-2-0, Yadav 3-1-8-0, Ashwin 2-0-8-0. � PTI

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