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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Kingston Test: Bravo, Chanderpaul keep WI in contention against India

Kingston Test: Bravo, Chanderpaul keep WI in contention against India

Last updated on: June 23, 2011 08:49 IST


The West Indies recovered well after a brief slump to stay on course for an improbable victory over India on the third day of the first Test in Kingston, Jamaica, on Wednesday.

At stumps, the hosts had scored 131 for three, requiring a further 195 runs with seven second innings wickets left. 

Darren Bravo was unbeaten on 30, and giving him company was veteran Shivanarine Chanderpaul, on 24.

The duo have so far put on exactly 50 runs in an unbroken fourth wicket stand after the hosts were reduced to 81 for three at one stage.

Ishant Sharma was the most impressive bowler for India with figures of two for 41. Praveen Kumar took the other wicket.

Earlier, former captain Rahul Dravid hit a gritty 112 to consolidate India's position and set the West Indies a tough target

Dravid, dropped by West Indies captain Darren Sammy when on six, made the hosts pay for the blemish by registering his 32nd Test hundred, his fourth against the Caribbeans.

The veteran's 274-ball knock was inclusive of 10 hits to the fence and one over it.

Starting the day at 91 for three, India lost Virat Kohli (15), Suresh Raina (27) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16) while adding 75 runs in the first session.

Dhoni, who was showing a lot of positive intent, was out at the stroke of lunch when he tried to cut a long hop from Devendra Bishoo (3-41) and was caught by Fidel Edwards at cover.

Young Bishoo infused hope for the hosts by claiming a couple of wickets in the final quarter of an hour before lunch as Raina and Dhoni tried to hit their way out of trouble on a track that was difficult for batting.

That's why Dravid's 203-ball vigil that contained eight boundaries is all the more praiseworthy. The innings was typically Dravid, where the concentration was intense, the risk-factor minimal, while trying to consolidate.

On a track with variable bounce, where the others found it difficult to defend, Dravid played both pace and spin with minumum fuss.

In the morning, it was Kohli who was the first to depart as he gloved one down the leg-side with Edwards digging it short.

Raina, as is his wont, was positive from the moment he arrived and played the rising deliveries well. A straight drive off Edwards was a real treat, even as Dravid was trying to see off the first hour, leaving anything that was a shade outside the off-stump channel.

India were 166 for six at lunch.

Dravid and Harbhajan (5) continued for some time after resumption, putting on 17 runs for the seventh wicket, before the West Indies captain made a double breakthrough.

Bowling what was his 22nd over of the innings, Sammy first trapped Harbhajan leg before before cleaning up Praveen Kumar (0) two balls later.

India were reduced to 183 for eight, with Dravid waging a lone battle.

Amit Mishra (28) helped the veteran reach his 32nd Test ton. The two put on a vital 56 runs for the ninth wicket before Sammy returned to have Mishra caught by Darren Bravo at third man. Mishra's 60-ball knock was inclusive of four boundaries, including two exquisite ones in succession, off Rampaul.

Soon after, Dravid smashed Bishoo for a maximum; it was only the 19th six of his illustrious Test career (261 innings). However, in attempting to hit a second, a feat he hadn't achieved hitherto, Dravid succeeded only in holing out to Ramnaresh Sarwan at mid-on.

Bishoo finished with impressive figures of four for 65, his second four-wicket haul in just his third Test. Sammy finished with equally impressive figures of four for 52.

Tea was taken soon after the visitors ended their second innings at 252.

The West Indies began their second innings in convincing manner, Adrian Barath (38) and Lendl Simmons (27) putting on 62 runs in an impressive opening wicket stand that came in just 11 overs.

The duo preferred aggression over caution and hit as many as three sixes between them. However, when Praveen Kumar had Barath caught by Raina at slip there was a brief slump.

Three balls later, Ramnaresh Sarwan was brilliantly caught by Kohli at third slip off Ishant. He failed to score. And when Ishnat returned to clean up Simmons four overs later, the West Indies were in big trouble.

Bravo and Chanderpaul though did the repair work, carefully negotiating their side through the day without any further damage.