» Cricket » Rahane's century gives India big lead on rain-hit day

Rahane's century gives India big lead on rain-hit day

August 02, 2016 04:01 IST

Ajinkya Rahane

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane hits a boundary. Photograph: WICB Media Photo/Athelstan Bellamy

Ajinkya Rahane scored his seventh Test hundred to help India take a huge first innings lead before rain forced play to be called off early on day three of the second Test against the West Indies, in Jamaica, on Monday.

- Scorecard

Rahane finished unbeaten on 108 as India declared their first innings on 500 for nine. The visitors took a huge 304-run lead, after West Indies were bowled out for 196 runs in their first innings.

Only 46.1 overs were bowled on the third day as the rain washed out the entire post-tea session at Sabina Park. Thereafter, the rain continued to pour, with the threat of tropical storm Earl still looming large on the match.

On day one, Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 5-52, his 18th five-wicket haul in 34 Tests as the West Indies were bundled out for a paltry 196. On day two, Lokesh Rahul scored 158 as India took control of the match. The visitors had won the first Test in Antigua by an innings and 92 runs.

Earlier in the morning session, the West Indies bowlers gave a tough time to Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha before home team captain Jason Holder trapped the latter leg before wicket to end the 98-run stand.

It was slow going for the Indians in the morning session, as they scored just 67 runs in 26.4 overs.

Starting the day on their overnight score of 358 for five, Rahane and Saha looked to get settled in and push the lead as further as possible.

The day started bright and sunny though, and Rahane quickly got to his Test fifty off 93 balls.

Pacers Shanon Gabriel and Miguel Cummins bowled well in the first hour of play, as the West Indies continued their ploy of bowling tight and not giving away easy runs to the batsmen. Only 34 runs came in the first hour of the morning, and thereafter Devendra Bishoo and Holder came on to bowl. That is when Rahane’s troubles started as the skipper mixed his incoming and out-swinging deliveries well, and troubled the well set right-hander.

IMAGE: The groundstaff bring on the covers. Photograph: WICB Media Photo/Athelstan Bellamy

Rahane was beaten a couple times, and also survived a few shouts for LBW, but he stayed put at the crease. He was frustrated though, and the good spell induced an edge in the 147th over off Bishoo, but Rajendra Chandrika dropped him at backward point. He was on 65 at that time, and yet managed to survive this period of play and went into the break unbeaten, trying to break the shackles with two boundaries in the 148th over.

The 400-mark had come up for India in the 141st over, as well as the lead also crossed the 200-mark. However, the effects could be seen at the other end too, as the run scoring was tightened up further and Saha was in some trouble too. Holder then finally got some reward for bowling tight when he trapped the keeper-batsman leg before wicket just before lunch, his first wicket in the series.

Post lunch, Amit Mishra (21), who joined Rahane, looked for some quick runs, smacking Devendra Bishoo for a six. The pacers were brought on almost immediately to block any plans of quick scoring on part of the batsmen. Even so, the 450-mark came up in the 161st over, with the lead going past the 250 mark.

IMAGE: West Indies players celebrate the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha. Photograph: WICB Media Photo/Athelstan Bellamy

After an hour, the game restarted with just about 25 minutes to play until tea. In this interim, the West Indies got a couple quick wickets, as Roston Chase (5-121) removed Mishra, caught at short leg, and then bowled Mohammed Shami (0) first ball.

Rahane broke the shackles and also looked to speed up towards his hundred, as he smacked Chase for a six.

The session had been extended, as Kraigg Brathwaite came on to bowl, and both Rahane and Yadav went in for quick runs. In doing so, the Indian vice-captain completed his hundred off 231 balls. However, Yadav was dismissed caught at short midwicket, as Chase completed his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.

India declared their innings at the fall of that wicket, leaving about 40 minutes for the West Indies to play out before the break, but rain intervened again and an early tea was taken.

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