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Windies need resolute batting, spells of rain

Written by: Staff
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St Lucia, June 13 (UNI) West Indies stared at big defeat when some summer showers stopped play 20 minutes before the scheduled close on day three of the second Test.

West Indies would need lot more resolute batting and perhaps longer spells of rain if they are to save this test as they fell 373 runs behind in the first innings and then lost Chris Gayle in the very first over when following on.

Replying to India's total of 588-8 declared, West Indies were bundled out for a meager 215 in the first innings. When rain stopped play, West Indies were 43 for 1 in their second innings, still needing 330 runs to make India bat again.

West Indies needed big partnerships in the second innings to salvage draw. But that was not to be for the first wicket as opener Chris Gayle survived just three balls. He edged Pathan to Dhoni who pouched a comfortable catch.

West Indies skipper Brian Lara returned to bat at his favourite number three position. Lara survived some loud appeals for leg before to end the day at 15 not out, Ganga was batting on 24.

Earlier, West Indies were bowled out for 215 in their first innings. Indian bowlers tightened the noose in the second session.

The lower order tried to lengthen their stay at crease but their totals of 20s and 30s were too little to avoid following on.

Kumble started the wicket-riot after lunch when he had Bravo caught by Dravid at slips for 25. Bravo and Ramdin added 61 runs for sixth wicket, the only highest partnership in the innings so far.

Ramdin was caught behind by Dhoni off Patel for 30.

Virender Sehwag filling in as fifth bowler spun a web around the lower order and claimed the last three wickets to end the West Indies first innings on 215. Sehwag accounted for the wickets of Taylor, Collins and Bradshaw. Kumble, Patel and Sehwag picked three wickets each for India while Pathan got one success.

As against three centuries from India in the first innings, no West Indies batsman could reach even fifty to end a soory display of batsmanship in the first innings.

West Indies lost two crucial wickets in the first session's play.

Kumble got rid of Chris Gayle and Pathan removed Chanderpaul to leave the West Indies tottering at 139 for five at lunch. Bravo was batting on 14 and Ramdin was giving him company on 16.

West Indies batsmen started the third day with draw in mind.

Overnight 65 for 3, they still needed 324 runs to save follow on.

The slow and low pitch was wearing heavy on their minds as Gayle and Chanderpaul began cautiously.

Indian skipper started the attack with overnight successful bowlers Patel and Kumble. The bowlers produced testing line and length but Gayle and Chanderpaul were up to task.

Skipper Lara had spoken to them about playing session by session and the last specialist batting pair for the West Indies played cautiously and also picked boundaries as the Dravid set an attacking field.

The pair survived almost an hour in the morning when Anil Kumble struck. Kumble finally got the better of Chris Gayle when he produced a thin edge that keeper Dhoni managed to grab after initial juggle.

Gayle made 46 in 106 balls that contained 7 fours and one big six. 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. But Gayle failed to carry really long.

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

With ball keeping low, batsmen had trouble in playing the in-coming 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 8 runs in 6 overs.

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