Gros Islet: India took control of the third and penultimate Test after Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/33) produced a sensational spell of swing bowling to bundle out the West Indies for 225 in their first innings on Friday.
Owing to Kumar's third Test five-wicket haul, India finished day four in a position to dictate terms on the final day, as they reached 157 for three at stumps for an overall lead of 285 runs.
India had a first-innings lead of 128 runs.
At tea, the visitors were placed at 31/0, and thereafter Shikhar Dhawan (26) and KL Rahul (28) looked to get quick runs.
And they were successful in this endeavour upto an extent as the runs flowed quickly, and they put up a 49-run stand in just 7.3 overs.
But Rahul then was caught at second slip off Miguel Cummins (2-22), who also trapped skipper Virat Kohli (4) LBW soon afterwards, and that put the brakes on the Indian scoring.
The 50-mark had come up in the ninth over, and Ajinkya Rahane (51 not out) then looked to push the scoring.
But Dhawan too departed at the other end, LBW to Roston Chase (1-41) making things a tad tougher.
West Indies meanwhile were struggling with their over-rate and they put on Kraigg Brathwaite (0-33) in tandem with the off-spinner.
This allowed Rahane and Rohit Sharma (41 not out) to break the shackles, as the duo put up a 50-run stand in just 92 balls.
They brought out the shots in the latter stages of the day, especially Rohit, who struck three sixes.
Rahane reached his eighth Test fifty off 88 balls in the penultimate over of the day, and at stumps, they had added 85 runs for the fourth wicket, as India looked to press matters and force a result on day five.
This was after Kumar's burst of 5-14 that sent West Indies crashing from 194/3 at lunch to 225 all out within 20.4 overs.
The 200-mark had come up for them in the 87th over, and thereafter the havoc began.
Kumar first removed Jermaine Blackwood (20) in the next over, caught at second slip by Kohli, thus ending his 67-run partnership with Marlon Samuels (48).
The latter was the next to go, two overs later, set up beautifully with a slew of outswingers and playing off an inswinging delivery.
Ravindra Jadeja (1-27) then removed Roston Chase (2) at the other end, and the hosts were really struggling at this juncture with three wickets down for just three runs.
Jason Holder (2) was trapped LBW by Kumar in the 94th over, and Alzarri Joseph (0) was caught at 3rd slip in the 96th, offering catching practice.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2-52) then accounted for Miguel Cummins (0) as Kumar searched for his fifth wicket, even as Shane Dowrich (18) was dropped twice in successive overs, first at third slip by KL Rahul and then at short midwicket by Rohit Sharma, the latter dropping a skier.
Finally, in the 104th over of the innings then, the medium pacer celebrated his achievement with Dowrich trapped LBW, as the West Indies lost six wickets for 23 runs.
Thereafter, Shikhar Dhawan (13 not out) and KL Rahul (15 not out) played out the five overs without loss, taking the overall lead to 159 runs.
Earlier, play finally resumed on day four after the rain relented.
The West Indies' innings was slated to continue at 9.30 am local time, but wet patches on the outfield delayed play by a further 30 minutes.
Finally, at the regular time then, play got underway with the morning and post-lunch session extended by 15 minutes each.
The day's play is scheduled to end at 5.30 pm local time, with the possibility of a half-hour extension as 98 overs are to be bowled in total.
Starting from their day two score of 107/1 then, Kraigg Brathwaite (64) and Darren Bravo (29) took to the crease.
The conditions were a bit like the first morning with the pitch feeling fresh.
However Jadeja and Mohammed Shami (0-58) got things underway, with Ishant Sharma (1-40) soon taking over from the spinner.
The ploy was to attack Bravo with the short ball, even if only one fine leg fielder was provided to the bowlers, especially Ishant.
But he crammed the batsman for space and he gave into his habitual urge, pulling straight to Jadeja in the 56th over.
The umpires checked for no ball and it seemed that Ishant had overstepped marginally but the third umpire ruled in the bowler's favour.
It became a double-blow for the West Indies, as Ashwin removed Brathwaite at the other end three overs later, the batsman gloving down leg side and caught behind.
It brought the proceedings to life, with only a small chance of result possible when play had started.
But Blackwood and Samuels put on another counter-attacking partnership to stall India's progress.
For once, the former was subdued and didn't overtly attack the bowlers.
There was a sharp chance in the 62nd over off Jadeja, when the ball lobbed up and Rohit Sharma diving backwards at forward short leg only managed to get a hand to it.
The fielder was later hit on the helmet grille, to go with a hit at the back of the helmet on day two, but he was safe and continued fielding, as the 150-mark came up in the 63rd over.
At the other end, Samuels took on both Jadeja and Ashwin, attacking them in a measure approach and using his feet well.
He used the aerial route on occasion, hitting a few lusty blows including a straight six against the off-spinner and brought up the 50-partnership off 132 balls, even as India took the new ball as soon as it became available.
India lead the four-match series 1-0, after winning the first Test in Antigua by an innings and 92 runs. The second Test in Jamaica was drawn.
Published Date: Aug 13, 2016 04:28 am | Updated Date: Aug 13, 2016 04:28 am