Dhoni and Raina put India in command

MIAMI, (Reuters) – India built up a lead of 104 runs  over West Indies with four first-innings wickets remaining at  the close of the third day of the third and final test in  Dominica today as the tourists moved closer to securing a  series victory.
India lead the three-test series 1-0 and it is hard to see  how, barring a second-innings catastrophe, they can lose that  advantage in the final two days of a rain-affected test.
Half centuries from Abhinav Mukund (62) Vangipurappu Laxman  (56), Suresh Raina (50) and skipper MS Dhoni (65 not out) were  the backbone of India’s 308 for six at the end of what, for this  series at least, was a rare day of rain-free cricket.
West Indies were hampered by the absence of seamer Ravi  Rampaul who did not bowl at all due to a virus which kept him at  the team hotel for most of the day.
With the other pace bowler Fidel Edwards also having some  physical difficulties, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, who  opened the bowling with his medium pace, bowled 26 overs while  spinner Devendra Bishoo worked his way through 35 overs.
West Indies even turned to the occasional spin of Kirk  Edwards and Shivnarine Chanderpaul – with the latter producing a  surprise wicket when the Guyanese had Laxman stumped in unusual  fashion by Carlton Baugh.
The day began brightly for the hosts when Murali Vijay (5)  was caught behind off a rising delivery from Edwards and then  India found themselves 18 for two after Rahul Dravid (5) was  bowled by Sammy.
Mukund and Laxman saw the tourists through to 102 for two at  lunch and the 98-run partnership between the pair laid the  foundations for India’s innings.
Mukund, who had made his maiden test half-century, must have  been fancying his chances of going on to a first hundred but he  was caught, off a bat-pad, by Adrian Barath from Bishoo’s spin.
Virat Kohli was then caught behind off Sammy to leave the  tourists at 168 for four and a key breakthrough for the home  side came with the dismissal of Laxman who, on 56, let go an  innocuous, wide delivery from Chanderpaul but lifted his foot  briefly and wicket-keeper Baugh reacted sharply to stump him.
At 172 for five, West Indies, despite injuries also  appearing to affect Sammy and Edwards, would have fancied their  chances of getting into the Indian tail but a 103-run  partnership between Raina and Dhoni put paid to those hopes.
Raina was trapped lbw by Edwards with the new ball and  Harbhajan Singh (12) saw the session to a close with a  confident-looking Dhoni.

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