Defiant Windies play for draw; reach 215/5 at lunch vs India

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Kingston, Aug 3 (IANS) West Indies reached 215/5 in their second innings at lunch on the final day to raise their hopes of drawing the second Test against India at the Sabina Park here on Wednesday.

Riding on contrasting half centuries from middle order batsmen Jermaine Blackwood (63) and Roston Chase (70 not out), the hosts recovered from the early jolts, which they received on Tuesday.

Starting the day from a precarious 48/4 after a rain-marred fourth day, Blackwood dominated the proceedings to not only get to his 50 in just 41 balls but more importantly set up a 93-run fifth wicket stand with Chase to deny the Indians any early inroads.

After the pacers failed to break the partnership, India skipper Virat Kohli turned towards his premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who did not disappoint and sent Blackwood packing for a 54-ball 63. Blackwood’s explosive knock composed of nine fours and two sixes.

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Since then young stumper Shane Dowrich (33 not out) joined Chase in the middle and the right-handed duo managed to keep the Indian bowlers at bay. Their unbeaten sixth wicket stand produced 74 runs as the hosts added 167 runs in the first session.

Earlier on Tuesday, only a little less than 16 overs could be bowled as incessant rains forced an early close of play with the visitors on the driver’s seat needing just six wickets to win the second Test.

India, in their first innings declared on 500/9 after bundling out the hosts for a paltry 196.

India lead the four-match series 1-0 after winning the first match at Antigua by an innings and 92 runs.

Brief Scores: West Indies 196 & 215/5 (Roston Chase 70 not out, Jermaine Blackwood 63, Shane Dowrich 33 not out, Mohammed Shami 2/53) vs India 500/9 declared.

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