Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
Kolkata: West Indies were feeling the pressure at 34/2 when bad light forced an early end to the second day’s play at Eden Gardens, trailing India by a massive 597 runs.
Kraig Brathwaite (17) was the second Windies wicket to go down as newlywed Ravichandran Ashwin opened his account with the scorecard reading 30/2 after Gambhir completed the catch. Replays suggested that the batsman was unlucky to have been given out. However, bad light came to haunt the proceedings yet again.
Before that, Umesh Yadav drew first blood for India early on to put extra pressure on the West Indies outfit, claiming Adrian Barath (1). The batsman was out while playing a back of length delivery that was caught superbly by Virender Sehwag in 2nd slip.
India wrapped up a dominating first innings with a declaration at 631/7 in the last session of play, hoping to scalp a few West Indies wickets in the few overs left on Day 2. They did just that and more.
It was an intimidating show by the batsmen who came up with one partnership after the other, led by centurions Rahul Dravid (119), MS Dhoni (144) and the star of Eden Gardens, VVS Laxman (176*).
Dhoni slammed a superb hundred, his fifth in Tests, to put India in the driver’s seat in a fashion that reminded fans of his attacking style of cricket. He was finally claimed by Kemar Roach in the post tea session at a score of 144 runs.
His innings was particularly attacking, with shots all round the wicket. With boundaries and sixes becoming the order of the day, the Indian fans had a lot to cheer about as the strong captain muscled fear into the opposition.
The partnership between Laxman and Dhoni took the Indian total past the 600-run mark in good time. West Indies captain Darren Sammy tried everything in his books to get the home team out but to no avail on a placid track.
Play had resumed after bad light and drizzle forced the umpires to get the pitch covered and take an early lunch on Day 2 of the second Test. The scorecard had read 433/6 at the juncture. The long wait meant that the batsmen would have to get their concentration back right from the scratch while the water made it tougher for the spinners to grip the leather. The batsmen came good while the bowlers had a forgettable outing.
Meanwhile, Laxman’s honeymoon with Eden Gardens continued as he slammed another classy century, his 17th in Test cricket, while Dhoni was lucky to have survived twice after being caught off no-balls bowled by Roach.
Yuvraj Singh was the only wicket to fall in the morning session as he was claimed lbw by West Indies skipper Darren Sammy at a score of 25 runs. He was peppered with short balls and he struggled to get going.
India had started Day 2 of the second Test against West Indies with the duo of Laxman and Yuvraj trying to see off the pacers in the morning conditions.
The pair had some work cut out for them, looking to set a big first innings total for the Windies to chase as it would be tough so score the same amount of runs batting last on the Eden track. They were off to the right start as Yuvraj started the proceedings with a four.
On the first day, ‘The Wall’ had stood tall in the Garden of Eden as the scorecard registered 346/5 at stumps. Dravid was at his supreme best as he scored his 36th Test century and his fifth in the calendar year.
His 140-run partnership with Laxman put India in a great position. Laxman, who has a fantastic record at the Eden Gardens, averaging over 100 with ten matches at the venue, was aiming for another century on the ground as he walked out to bat on a hazy morning of Day 2 and he did that in style.