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Sreesanth, Kumble strike; Windies 72 for 3 at Lunch

Written by: Staff
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St John's, Antigua, Jun 6 (UNI) S Sreesanth scalped the crucial wickets of Ramnaresh Sarwan and Brian Lara in 30 minutes before lunch to leave West Indies struggling at 72 for three after India set a target of 392 for the hosts on the last day of the first Test here today.

Anil Kumble broke the solid opening 67-run partnership between Darren Ganga and Chris Gayle and Sreesanth claimed the vital wickets of in-form Ramnaresh Sarwan and skipper Brian Lara with West Indies needing another 320 runs.

The day began on dour note for India as the hosts' openers played for time. Usually attacking Gayle went out of his way to block the balls rather than the slogs that he dished out in the first innings.

Gayle was circumspect to the extent that at one point during the first hour's play, he scored just one run off 27 balls. Not that the Indian bowlers were giving much room to play shots though.

The opener survived a loud appeal by Munaf Patel early on to settle for a sedate start to the morning. Sreesanth also bowled a fine spell outside the off stump that consistently troubled Gayle and Ganga.

Sreesanth also had his in-swingers, which missed the outside edge of the openers more than once. Ganga was more fluent at the other end and he consistently out-scored Gayle.

After the first hour's play finished without any loss for West Indies, Gayle tried to break the shackles and in his typical style played Sreesanth on the mid-on boundary for four.

West Indies were cruising safely to lunch when Anil Kumble struck the first blow. He tossed one up to him at middle and leg stump and Ganga effort to push it failed as he only managed an inside edge that was lapped up by Yuvraj Singh at short leg.

Ganga departed for 36 and West Indies lost their first wicket at 67.

Sreesanth, who had struggled in the first innings, got rid of Sarwan only after one run was added to the total. Sarwan slashed at an away going delivery and Kumble at gully made no mistake.

The biggest success for India came one ball before lunch when Sreesanth trapped Lara LBW for nought. Umpire Asad Rauf took some time to decide and after a loud appeal decided that the ball was on its way to the stumps. West Indies were 72 for three. Gayle was batting on 28 of 94 balls.

India has never won a Test match in Antigua and all three that they played here resulted in draw.

UNI XC PM HT2222

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