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Rain and bad light stall India`s reply on day 2

Roseau (Dominica): Harbhajan Singh achieved his 400th Test wicket while Ishant Sharma grabbed a five-for as India bundled out West Indies for 204 before rain and bad light stalled the visitors` reply on day 2 of the third and final match.

At stumps, India were eight for no loss, with Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay batting on six and one, respectively. India now trail by 196 runs with 10 wickets remaining in the first innings.

Only 49.2 overs were bowled on the second day, leading to a loss of a total of ninety-seven overs in the last two days.

Even as the officials seemed optimistic despite a sharp shower interrupting play in the post-tea session, the light was deemed too poor for umpires to resume play.

The poor weather apart, the facilities at the Windsor Park could be termed primitive as carts were used to scoop the water from the covers.

The drainage facility is quite good but it proved to be of little use as water from cover-sheets took a long time to be removed.

Earlier, Harbhajan became the third Indian and 11th overall to reach the landmark, while Ishant continued from where he had left off on day 1, as the duo hastened the West Indies` collapse.

Just as the West Indian innings folded up, a slight drizzle again brought the covers on, and an early tea was taken.

West Indies were in the middle of a revival of sorts when the gritty Harbhajan claimed two quick wickets.

Though Harbhajan achieved a milestone, the wrecker in chief was once again Ishant, who claimed five for 77 in yet another inspirational display of fast bowling.

Resuming at an overnight 75 for three, West Indies lost two of their most experienced batsmen in a rain-curtailed opening session.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (23) and Marlon Samuels (9) fell to Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar even as Darren Bravo (50) and Calrton Baugh (60) stood firm.

But the hosts, 128 for five at lunch, began the afternoon session with a flurry of shots, to entertain the sparse crowd.

Baugh was the aggressor as he flexed his arms to good effect, and no less than 37 runs came from the first four overs.

Baugh survived a caught-behind appeal off Munaf Patel but then decided to cut loose, crashing Ishant for three fours in one over.

He first produced a back cut, steered the next one over slips, and then crashed one past the extra cover boundary.

He didn`t hold himself back against Munaf either, managing two fours past the slip cordons.

Meanwhile Bravo, unbeaten on 41 at break, completed his half century when he flicked Ishant to square leg for a single.

Bravo, though, departed to Ishant in dramatic fashion after he had put on 59 runs for the sixth wicket with Baugh.

In a tense Sharma over, he first edged a delivery to slips, where Rahul Dravid caught it, but promptly indicated he wasn`t sure if he had caught cleanly.

The replays proved that Dravid hadn`t caught it cleanly but Bravo made little use of it, departing in the same over when he inside edged a catch to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Bravo made 50 from 134 balls with eight fours and this was his second successive fifty against the tourists after his match-saving 73 not out at Kensington Oval last week.

Baugh then found an unlikely support in Darren Sammy as the two added 41 runs for the seventh wicket.

Sammy, as he had indicated before the start of the match, looked to play down the ground before plonking Ishant for a huge six.

But Harbhajan ended Sammy`s innings, having him caught at forward shortleg for 20 and later, clean bowled Baugh (60) for his 400th wicket.

Baugh played only 79 balls during his knock and hit six fours and a six.

This is Harbhajan`s 96th Test and he follows Anil Kumble (619) and Kapil Dev (434) in the exclusive club of 400-wicket takers for India.

He is the second off-spinner ever in the history of the game to take 400 scalps after Muthiah Muralitharan (800).

After the celebrations were done with, Sharma cleaned up Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul for his second successive five-wicket haul.

An unwell Ravi Rampaul didn`t come on to bowl in India`s innings that didn’t make much difference as only four overs were possible before rain and bad light had the final say.

PTI

From Zee News

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