Rain slows India’s push for victory

Gros Islet, June 13 :

India were looking to deliver the punch when it rained on their parade in the second Test against West Indies on Monday.

After being asked to follow-on 373 runs behind, West Indies were 43-1 in their second innings, when a torrential downpour swept across the ground with 11.3 overs remaining on the third day. Replying to India’s first innings total of 588-8 declared, West Indies was restricted to 215.

Virender Sehwag, bowling his uncomplicated off-spin, took three wickets for 33 runs. Munaf Patel took 3-51, and leg-spin bowler Anil Kumble became the fourth highest wicket-taker in Tests, when he snared 3-57.

Chris Gayle top-score with 46 for the home side. He added 51 for the fourth wicket with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (30). Denesh Ramdin (30)and Dwayne Bravo (25) beefed up the West Indies first innings total when they added 61 for the sixth wicket.

Following on, West Indies suffered an immediate setback when Gayle (2) was caught behind off Irfan Pathan with the third ball of the innings, driving lazily at a delivery moving away outside the off-stump.

West Indies captain Brian Lara came to the wicket and defied the Indian attack to reach 15 and compatriot Daren Ganga showed similar resilience to get to 24 before the weather interrupted.

Earlier, India had removed Gayle and Chanderpaul to maintain their stranglehold.

West Indies looked to be making a fist of it when Gayle and Chanderpaul battled through with little trouble. Gayle had the joy of swatting Kumble over mid-wicket for a six, but the leg-spinner gained his pound of flesh with his next delivery. Gayle groped at a delivery that spun across him and was pouched by the wicketkeeper to become Kumble’s 519th Test wicket — drawing him level with Courtney Walsh — as the fourth highest wicket-taker in Tests.

Pathan trapped Chanderpaul leg before next over. But, Bravo and Ramdin carried West Indies through to 139-5 at the interval. After the break, Kumble had Bravo caught at slip edging a back-foot drive for his 520th Test scalp.

Three overs later, Patel removed Ramdin and though Jerome Taylor (23) and Ian Bradshaw (20) resisted towards the end. the inevitable took place. West Indies lost their last three wickets for five runs