WI let chances slip
GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC):
An unbroken century stand between Ravi Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha extinguished West Indies' early enthusiasm, as India recovered from a dodgy start to make a strong finish to the opening day of the third Test yesterday.
India were teetering on the brink of collapse just before tea at 126 for five, but fought back gallantly in the final session to keep West Indies wicketless and reach 234 for five at the Darren Sammy National Stadium.
At the close, Ashwin was closing in on yet another century against West Indies, unbeaten on 75, while wicketkeeper Saha was on the verge of a third Test half-century, on 46 not out.
Together, they have added 108 for the sixth wicket - a stand that shifted the balance of the game after West Indies dominated the first two session after winning the toss and opting to bowl first.
The hosts were galvanised by debutant 19-year-old fast bowler, Alzarri Joseph, who picked up two for 38, including the prized wicket of captain Virat Kohli for three, while off-spinner Roston Chase also claimed two for 38.
Opener KL Rahul extended his good form from the last Test with exactly 50, while Ajinkya Rahane made a fighting 35.
The right-handed Ashwin survived two chances to strike four fours off 190 deliveries, while Saha, dropped on 20 by Leon Johnson at forward short leg off Chase, has faced 122 balls and counted four fours.
Ashwin, who made a hundred in the opening Test in Antigua a fortnight ago, was also put down on 26 by Johnson at short leg off Chase and was given a second life on 35 - just 25 minutes later - when he was caught at point by Chase off a back-foot no-ball by Gabriel, at 145 for five.
INDIA 1st Innings
KL Rahul c Brathwaite b Chase 50
S Dhawan c wkp Dowrich b Gabriel 1
*V Kohli c Bravo b Joseph 3
A Rahane b Chase 35
R Sharma c Dowrich b Joseph 9
R Ashwin not out 75
+W Saha not out 46
Extras: (b5, lb2, w1, nb7) 15
Total: (5 wkts, 90 overs) 234
To bat: R Jadeja, I Sharma, Mohammed Shami, B Kumar.
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-19, 3-77, 4-87, 5-126.
Bowling: Gabriel 16-2-68-1 (nb5), Joseph 14-3-38-2, Cummins 14-5-36-0 (w1), Holder 15-6-27-0, Chase 23-8-38-2, Brathwaite 8-1-20-0.
*J Holder, K Brathwaite, L Johnson, DM Bravo, M Samuels, J Blackwood, R Chase, +S Dowrich, M Cummins, A Joseph, S Gabriel.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: N Llong, R Tucker; TV - G Brathwaite.