St Lucia, Aug 12 (IANS) An upbeat India got an early breakthrough by packing off the two overnight West Indian batsmen before lunch on the fourth day of the third Test at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium here on Friday.
With 194/3 in 83 overs at lunch, Windies were trailing 159 runs behind India’s first innings total of 353.
Resuming at 107/1 in 47 overs under bright sunshine after heavy rains washed out play on Thursday, opener Kraigg Brathwaite and one-down Darren Bravo tried to settle down for a long haul by dodging the Indian spin-cum-pace combo and batting at ease to accelerate the run rate per over.
Taking advantage of the seam and turn in the pitch, Indian skipper Virat Kohli had deployed the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja at one end and pacers Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami from the other to separate the duo.
As both were getting into form, southpaw Bravo top edged a rising ball from Sharma into Jadeja’s hands at fine leg when he was at 29 off 101 balls with three boundaries and Windies were on 129/1.
The second wicket partnership yielded 70 runs.
After two overs and six runs, it was the turn of Craig Braithwaite to exit, as he snicked a turning ball from Ashwin to Indian wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha even as he was going strong at 64 from 163 balls with six boundaries.
The new pair of Marlon Samuels (39) and Jermaine Blackwood (20) were at the crease when lunch was called after 37 overs in the extended first session.
Sharma and Ashwin shared the bowling honours with one wicket each.
Brief scores: India (first innings): 353 vs West Indies (first inings): 194/3 (Brathwaite 64, Johnson 23, Bravo 29; Ishant Sharma 1/40, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/51).