Antigua, July 24 (IANS) India picked four wickets in the session as the West Indies were struggling at 157 for seven at tea during the third day of the opening Test cricket match at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium here on Saturday.
Jason Holder (9 not out) and Shane Dowrich (6 not out) were at the when tea was called, with the hosts still 409 runs behind India’s mammoth first innings total of 566 for eight declared. West Indies were 31 for one at the end of Friday’s play.
Overnight batsman Devendra Bishoo (12) and left-hander Darren Bravo (11) were the wickets India picked in the opening session on Saturday as West Indies only managed to add 59 runs in the first session.
Night watchman left-hander Bishoo was stumped by wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha after being beaten in flight and dragged his feet ahead to a delivery from leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
Left-hander Bravo edged a rising back of a length delivery to Saha to hand over a prized wicket to India, just in the penultimate over before lunch.
In the morning, Indian medium pacers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma probed the West Indian duo of Braithwaite and Bishoo with tight line and length. Testing them with occasional bouncers, Shami and Ishant hardly gave the batsmen any room as they tried to just hang in there, without scoring.
India captain Virat Kohli put two close-in fielders apart from the slips to send the message to the West Indies that India need wickets. The West Indies batsmen were tentative as the ball moved a lot, aided by the wind and the Indians tested the dogged patience of the hosts.
The presence of a non-regular batsman in Bishoo also did not help the hosts’ cause as he struggled a lot — with a couple of catches just avoiding the close-in fielders.
Braithwaite too struggled to negotiate the bounce and the swing and once had a shot just flying above the slip fielders.
Indian spinners came on they kept the pressure on the batsmen. Finally, they were rewarded with a wicket when Bishoo was stumped while attempting a cross-bat shot off leg-spinner Mishra.
After the wicket at 68/2, Bravo came and he played a couple of good shots and Braithwaite also showed some positivity against off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was smacked for two fours towards mid-on and point.
Later, Bravo ended up edging it behind off a Shami delivery pitched outside the off stump just in the penultimate over before lunch to make it a successful session for the tourists.
Coming in after lunch, Shami dismissed Marlon Samuels (1) and Jermaine Blackwood (0) in one over to have the hosts at 92/5.
But Kraigg Braithwaite (74) and incoming batsman Roston Chase (23) stayed on to add 47-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Umesh Yadav dismissed Chase followed by Kraigg in the 66th and 68th over to have West Indies struggling at 144/7.
Brief scores: India: 566/8d, West Indies: 157/7 (Kraigg Braithwaite 74; Mohammed Shami 4/41, Umesh Yadav 2/26).