Cricket Article

Dravid's century gives India upper hand against West Indies

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Rahul Dravid’s gritty knock of 112 on the third day of the first Test match against West Indies ensured that India got to 252 in the second innings. This meant that the West Indian side were left to score 326 for a win and they had got to 131 for three by the time the stumps were drawn.

India had resumed at 91 for three from their second day’s score and lost Virat Kohli almost immediately. Kohli, on his debut, had scored four in the first innings and managed to get to 15 in the second before a short ball from Fidel Edwards took his glove on way to the wicket-keeper.

Suresh Raina was then involved in a 48-run stand with Dravid but much like many before him and all those after him in the Indian innings, he failed to capitalise on the start. His 53-ball 27 was ended when Devendra Bishoo had him caught down the leg-side by the leg-slip. The jury is still out there on whether the batsman had nicked the ball or was it actually not-out.

MS Dhoni made a whirlwind 16 but was dismissed off the last ball before tea and when Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar departed in quick succession to Darren Sammy, India were 183 for eight and in trouble.

Fortunately for the Indians, the best stand of the innings for them came for the ninth wicket when Dravid was joined by a sensible Amit Mishra. There were those early nerves that caused him to attempt thwacks around the ground but once he settled down, he proved to be ideal foil to Dravid.

By the time Mishra was finally claimed, cutting one from Sammy into the hands of the third-man, India had extended the lead to beyond 300. Dravid was the last man out in his attempt to hit Bishoo out of the park but by then, he had scored his 32nd century in Test match cricket.

Set 326 to win, West Indies went about their business in aggressive fashion. The opening duo of Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath added 62 for the first wicket at an almost ODI-rate of six per over. Barath was especially crucifying on anything in his half and smashed four boundaries and a couple of sixes in his 36-ball 38.

Unfortunately for the home team, one wicket led to another and Barath, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Darren Bravo were all dismissed in quick succession. West Indies ended the day on 131 for three thanks to an unbeaten 51-run stand for the fourth wicket between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo. An exciting fourth day in the offing for the cricket fans!