India set Windies 326 after Dravid century

KINGSTON, (Reuters) – Rahul Dravid made a  painstakingly slow but masterful century to put India in a  strong position to win the first test against West Indies at  Sabina Park today.
Dravid, showing all the patience and sublime skill built up  over a 15-year test career, batted for almost six and a half  hours to compile 112 in a low-scoring match where both teams  have struggled to score freely.
His performance enabled the tourists to post a  second-innings total of 252 and set West Indies a daunting  target of 326 to win the series opener.
West Indies racked up 131 to reduce their target to 195 off  by the time stumps were drawn on the third day but lost three  wickets in the process, leaving India in control of a match  seemingly destined to finish early.
Dravid’s hundred was his 32nd in tests and his fourth against  West Indies and the 38-year-old provided his younger team mates  with a lesson in resilience as he cautiously navigated his way  to triple figures on a pitch offering assistance to the  spinners.
None of the other batsman got to 30 while Darren Sammy and  Devendra Bishoo were the pick of the West Indian bowlers,  capturing four wickets each.
India started the third day on 91 for three but lost Virat  Kohli (15), Suresh Raina (27) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16) in  the morning session as Dravid took his overnight score from 45  to 69.
Content to bat cautiously and occupy the crease, Dravid  accelerated in the middle session, reaching his ton off 252  balls before becoming the last wicket to fall.
West Indies made a flying start to their run chase when  Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons brought up their 50 partnership  in just 55 balls before India made three quick strikes, removing  Barath (38), Simmons (27) and Ramnaresh Sarwan, for no score, to  leave the home side reeling at 80-3.
Darren Bravo (30 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (24 not  out) added 51 in an unbroken stand fopr the fourth wicket to  guide the home team to the close without further casualties and  give them some hope of reaching their target today.

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