India continued to pile on the misery on West Indies as they reached a commanding 425 for 6 at lunch on Day 3 of the second Test in Kingston on Monday.
Wriddhiman Saha was dismissed for 47 on the verge of lunch, but Ajinkya Rahane was looking set to get his seventh Test century (74 batting) as they wore down the West Indies bowling with their patience and by putting the bad balls away. Adding 67 runs to their overnight score in the first session, India’s overall lead had swelled to 229.
With heavy thunderstorms forecast for Tuesday, the lead looks good enough for but India might want to bat out at least one more session to get a lead that will enable them to force an innings win. Just 26.4 overs were bowled in the first session. West Indies continued to give little away but they could have made further inroads had Rajendra Chandrika not dropped Rahane.
Devendra Bishoo’s delivery wasn’t short enough to play the cut but Rahane took his chance. The ball took the top edge and went to point but Chandrika failed to hold on to it. West Indies’ day also started with an eventful over from Shannon Gabriel that saw Saha’s edge fall short of second slip. Rahane, however, got India going with a boundary, a glance off his hips in the next over from debutant pacer Miguel Cummins. It was also against Cummins in the next over that Rahane brought up his fifty by cutting him over the slip cordon.
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Saha looked a little edgy at times, but Rahane was so assured that India kept inching towards a big total. He drove and cut beautifully when not looking to defend. However, Rahane survived a couple of leg-before appeals against Jason Holder. The first was closer but the ball was just going down the leg. The second, according to replays, showed the ball flying just over the stumps.
Saha scored three boundaries in the morning session, including one over mid-off after coming down the track to Bishoo, but he largely restricted himself to some brisk running between the wickets, including a three after driving Cummins through cover.
Both Rahane and Saha continued to leave balls bowled just outside off-stump, but given the position India are in, they could have picked up the scoring against the defensive West Indies bowling. That, however, has been their plan throughout this series --- see out the first session and then start accelerating. Saha, however, couldn’t stay longer.
A fifty could have given him some boost, but Saha’s slow feet cost him his wicket against a Holder delivery that moved in and hit him low on the back pad. It was the West Indies captain’s first wicket in the series.