With Kumar’s fiver, India packs off Windies for 225 (Tea Report)

St. Lucia, Aug 13 (IANS) India took a crucial 128-run lead in first innings by packing off West Indies for 225, with pacer Bhuveneshwar Kumar’s fiver during the post-lunch session on the fourth day of the rain-hit third Test at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

At tea, India were 49/1 from 8 overs in second innings for the loss of Lokesh Rahul, who made a breezy 28 of 24 balls with three boundaries at tea.

After losing two wickets and posting 194/3 in 83 overs during the first session from 107/1 in 47 overs on Wednesday, Windies collapsed to 225 in 103.4 overs, as their top and middle order wilted under pressure from Kumar, who was the pick of the Indian bowlers, while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja shared the remaining two wickets during the post-lunch session.

Though the new pair of Marlon Samuels and Jermaine Blackwood tried to consolidate the innings and took the score past 200-run in the 87th over, Kumar scalped both of them with accurate bowling to the stumps, aided by seam and windy conditions.

With a flurry of in-swingers and out-swingers, Kumar had Blackwood caught in the second slip by skipper Virat Kohli in the 88th over for 20 in 86 balls and clean bowled Samuels in the 90 th over for 48 in 107 balls, with seven boundaries and a six, the only in the Windies’ first innings.

A quick exit of the middle order duo, forced Windies’ keeper and all-rounder Roston Chase to be defensive and play on to avoid losing further wickets.

But it was not to be, as Jadeja had Chase caught in slips by Ajinkya Rahane in the following over (91st) for just 2 in 12 balls, while Kumar got Windies’ skipper Jason Holder plumb before the wicket in 94th over for only 2 in 11 balls.

Holder’s quick exit exerted more pressure on the tail-enders, as the team lost four key wickets in a span of 4 overs for 10 runs to 212 from 202.

The magical bowling spell of Kumar and Ashwin also troubled Test debutant Alzarri Jospeh, and Ashwin Miguelo Cummins who were out for ducks, while Shannon Gabriel remained not out zero after Kumar made keeper Shane Dowrich snick the ball to Shikar Dhawan in the slip for 18 in 38 balls.

Scores briefly: India 353 in first innings, West Indies 225. Kraigg Brathwaite 64, Samuels 48, Johnson 23, Bravo 29, Blackwood 20 and Dowrich 18. Kumar 5/33, Ashwin 2/52, Sharma and Jadeja one each.

–IANS

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