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Windies fighting to avoid follow on; 139 for five at Lunch

Written by: Staff
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St Lucia, June 12 (UNI) Needing 389 runs to avoid follow on, West Indies had their top half of batting order back in the pavillion for 139, as India put them on the mat at lunch on day three of the second Test here.

West Indies lost two crucial wickets in the first session's play staring at follow-on. Anil Kumble got rid of Chris Gayle and Irfan Pathan removed Chanderpaul to leave the West Indies tottering at 139 for five at lunch. Bravo and Ramdin were at the crease with 14 and 16 respectively.

Apparently playing for a draw, the West Indies batsmen resumed on 65 for 3 overnight, still needing 324 to avoid follow-on. The slow and low pitch was wearing heavy on their minds as Gayle and Chanderpaul began cautiously. Indian skipper Rahul Dravid started the attack with overnight successful bowlers Munaf Patel and the veteran Anil Kumble.

The bowlers produced a testing line and length but Gayle and Chanderpaul were up to the task. West Indies Skipper Brian Lara had spoken to them about playing session by session and the last specialist batting pair for the West Indies played cautiously an also picked boundaries as Dravid set an attacking field. The pair survived almost an hour in the morning before Kumble struck.

The veteran got the better of Chris Gayle when he produced a thin edge that keeper Mahendra Dhoni managed to grab after initial juggle. Gayle made 46 (106 balls, 7X4, 1X6).

Like the second innings in Antigua, this was another out of-character innings from Gayle in which he concentrated on staying longer at the crease than scoring.

Irfan Pathan removed Chanderpaul the very next over to remove West Indies' last recognised batsman. Chanderpaul, batting on 30, played across to a delivery that came in and was hit plumb in front of the wicket leaving West Indies tattering at 106 for five.

With the ball keeping low, batsmen had trouble in playing the incoming deliveries. Four of first five dismissals were lbws.

Dravid maintained an attack of spin at one end and seam at the other with great results. After Kumble, Dravid introduced Virender Sehwag, who got big turns on his off breaks to keep the Windies batsmen guessing. VRV Singh at the other end also bowled a tight line, giving away just 8 runs in 6 overs.

UNI XC YA GC2300

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