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Port of Spain, July 23 – Kraigg Brathwaite and Alick Athanaze showed some fight and managed to frustrate Indian bowlers on a placid pitch as hosts went into stumps at 229/5, trailing by 209 on a rain-interrupted third day of the second Test, here on Saturday.
Kraigg Brathwaite’s 235-ball 75 led West Indies’ watchful approach but the other batters, who also showcased restraint, could not convert their promising starts into bigger contributions as India managed to time some timely wickets.
West Indies, who scored only 143 runs in the 67 overs bowled in the day’s play, will depend on Alick Athanaze (37 not out) and Jason Holder (11 not out) to lead them closer to India’s first-innings score.
In the first session, India’s debutant Mukesh Kumar dismissed West Indies’ debutant Kirk McKenzie for 32 off 57 balls before rain forced an early lunch.
Brathwaite crossed fifty early in the second session, getting there with a couple off Mukesh. Though India bowlers were disciplined, Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood were up to the task as they built a watchful partnership and ensured that they put away the loose deliveries.
Ashwin ended the partnership worth 40 off 128 deliveries, getting the better of Brathwaite’s defence with drift and spin. Athanaze looked to play his shots and along with Blackwood batted through for the remainder of the extended second session, with only 57 runs being scored in 35.4 overs.
Jadeja struck early in the third session, getting one to turn sharply off the rough to catch the edge of Blackwood’s bat, with Ajinkya Rahane taking a stunning one-handed catch at first slip to end a 21-run fourth wicket partnership that came off 83 deliveries.
Thereafter, Jadeja and Unadkat bowled in tandem and had the batters in trouble on a few occasions but Athanaze and Joshua Da Silva kept West Indies going as they took their side past the 200 mark. But their stand came to an end when Da Silva was bowled by Siraj. But just like the first session, rain stopped play soon after a wicket.
Play resumed after a nearly an hour’s break due to rain, with Siraj and Ashwin continuing the bowling. India opted for the second new ball in the 103rd over, with Mukesh and Siraj operating with it.
Mukesh found some movement and troubled Athanaze on a couple of occasions, but he couldn’t get a wicket. With the light fading, India got Jadeja to bowl one over but the umpires decided to call it Stumps soon after.
Brief scores: India 438 lead West Indies 229/5 (Kraigg Brathwaite 75, Alick Athanaze 37 not out; Ravindra Jadeja 2/37, Mukesh Kumar 1/35) by 209 runs.