Dowrich shines but Windies battling to avoid defeat

NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich struck his second half-century in only his third Test but West Indies were staring at a possible innings defeat after being forced to follow-on by India, on the second day of the opening Test here yesterday.

Resuming the day on 31 for one, the Caribbean side were bundled out for 243 in reply to India’s massive 566 for eight declared, to trail by 323 runs on first innings at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.

They crashed to 144 for seven in the final session but the 24-year-old

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite defends a delivery during his top score of 74 on the third day of the opening Test against India yesterday. (Photo courtesy WICB)
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite defends a delivery during his top score of 74 on the third day of the opening Test against India yesterday. (Photo courtesy WICB)

Dowrich stroked a classy unbeaten 57 and captain Jason Holder hit a fluent 36 to prop up the innings.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite had earlier carried his overnight unbeaten 14 to a top score of 74, and took the fight to the Indians for the better part of two sessions.

But the innings was undermined by seamers Umesh Yadav (4-41) and fellow seamer Mohammed Shami (4-66) who finished with four wickets apiece while leg-spinner Amit Mishra claimed two for 43.

In their second turn at the crease, West Indies were plunged into strife as early as the opening over when Brathwaite was lbw to pacer Ishant Sharma for two with the score two, missing one that came back and struck him on the back leg.

Darren Bravo, unbeaten on 10 and opener Rajendra Chandrika, on nine, saw West Indies safely to the close, still requiring a further 302 runs to make India bat again.

Needing a huge batting effort to make inroads into their deficit at the start, West Indies made it through the first hour without losing a wicket as Brathwaite and nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo (12) extended their second wicket stand to 38 before being separated.

Bishoo, yet to score at the start of play, frustrated India for over an hour, facing 43 balls and striking two fours before falling in the fourth over after the first drinks break, on 68 for two.

The left-hander missed a cross-batted shot at Mishra and was stumped, after failing to anchor his back leg.

Bravo showed little signs of discomfort during his 33-ball stay at the crease for 11, adding 22 with Brathwaite to keep West Indies steady.

However, he perished nine balls before lunch when he nibbled at one from seamer Mohammed Shami that bounced and left him slightly, to give wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha the second of five catches and six dismissals overall.

On 90 for three at lunch, West Indies found themselves in complete disarray just 20 minutes after the resumption when Shami struck with a double wicket maiden to account for Marlon Samuels for one and fellow Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood without scoring.

Samuels, yet to score at lunch, made just one before edging a prod at the 16th ball he faced through to Saha, at 92 for four.

Blackwood, meanwhile, lasted just four balls before fending one that lifted sharply off a length, to third slip where Ajinkya Rahane held an easy catch.

Brathwaite and debutant Roston Chase, who scored 23, then stemmed the flow of wickets with a 47-run, sixth wicket stand which saw the Windies through the next hour without further loss.

The right-handed Brathwaite reached his eighth half-century in Tests, 25 minutes after lunch with a straight drive for four off Mishra and caressed the same bowler to the point boundary a couple of overs later.

Chase looked composed in 45 balls and 70 minutes at the crease but fell 25 minutes before tea when he pulled an ordinary delivery from pacer Yadav into Rahane’s lap at mid-wicket.

Eleven balls later with five runs added, Brathwaite gloved a lifter from Yadav behind to end his toil at 144 for seven, having faced 218 balls in 291 minutes at the crease and counted seven fours.

On 157 for seven at tea, West Indies rallied after the break, thanks to an eighth wicket stand of 69 between Dowrich and Holder.

Dowrich struck ten fours in an innings that needed just 79 balls in just over 1-3/4 hours while Holder faced 52 deliveries in counting five fours and a six – a pull over mid-wicket off Shami.

But Holder drove at at a wide ball from Yadav to be caught behind at 213 for eight and off the very next delivery, Carlos Brathwaite offered no stroke to one that seamed back and was bowled off-stump.

Shannon Gabriel stayed around long enough to add 30 with Dowrich before he was bowled for two, missing a wild heave at Mishra.

SCOREBOARD

INDIA 1st innings 566-8 decl.
WEST INDIES 1st innings (overnight 31 for one)
K Brathwaite c wkp
Saha b Yadav                74
R Chandrika c wkp Saha b Mohammed Shami         16
D Bishoo st Saha b
Mishra                           12
DM Bravo c wkp Saha b Mohammed Shami          11
M Samuels c wkp Saha b Mohammed Shami           1
J Blackwood c Rahane b Mohammed Shami           0
R Chase c Kohli b
Yadav                            23
+S Dowrich not out        57
*J Holder c wkp Saha b Yadav                            36
C Brathwaite b Yadav       0
S Gabriel b Mishra           2
Extras (b4, lb2, w2, nb3) 11
TOTAL (all out, 90.2 overs)                          243
Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-68, 3-90, 4-92, 5-92, 6-139, 7-144, 8-213, 9-213, 10-243.
Bowling: Sharma 20-7-44-0 (nb3), Yadav 18-8-41-4, Shami 20-4-66-4 (w2), Ashwin 17-5-43-0, Mishra 15.2-4-43-2.

WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (following-on)
K Brathwaite lbw b
Sharma                            2
R Chandrika not out         9
DM Bravo not out          10
Extras                              0
TOTAL (1 wkt, 13 overs)                                       21
Fall of wicket: 1-2.
Bowling: Sharma 4-2-3-1, Shami 4-3-2-0, Yadav 3-1-8-0, Ashwin 2-0-8-0.
Position: West Indies trail by 302 runs with nine second innings wickets intact.
Toss: India.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, I Gould; TV – G Brathwaite

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