India seven wickets away from sealing series victory

INDIA need seven more wickets to beat the West Indies in the second Test in Kolkata after the tourists were forced to follow on.

The Windies were dismissed for 153 in their first innings yesterday to trail by 478 runs, but at least put up a better show second time around to reach 195 for three at the close of play.

However, that still left them trailing by 283 runs with two days remaining and needing an heroic rearguard action to avoid defeat.

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After Kraigg Brathwaite became the first man to fall in the second innings – the opener caught behind for nine off the bowling of Umesh Yadav – the visitors steadied the ship and reached tea on 116 for one thanks to Adrian Barath (62 not out) and Kirk Edwards (43no).

However, Barath was dismissed straight after the interval without a run being added to the total, caught by VVS Laxman off the bowling of Ishant Sharma.

Edwards and Darren Bravo added 45 for the third wicket before Edwards (60) was trapped lbw by Sharma, but Bravo (38 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (21no) survived until the close.

A 224-run partnership between Laxman and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had put India well on top, with the home side making 631 for seven declared before reducing the tourists to 34 for two by stumps.

They continued yesterday where they had left off on day two, with the Windies never able to build any momentum. Pragyan Ojha finished with four for 64 and Yadav three for 23 as the West Indies were skittled in just 48 overs at Eden Gardens. Only Bravo (30) and Marlon Samuels (25) managed to pass 20.

After losing openers Barath for one and Brathwaite (17) before bad light forced a premature end to yesterday’s play, number three batsman Edwards followed suit for 16 when he was trapped lbw playing across the line to slow left-armer Ojha.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin snared the crucial wicket of Chanderpaul for four soon after, also lbw.

That left the Windies 46 for four and brought together Bravo and Samuels in the middle. The pair produced the tourists’ best partnership – 46 – but the wickets kept tumbling thereafter.

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Left-hander Bravo was bowled off an inside edge by Yadav and Samuels fell to the same player, bowled past the outside edge in the right-arm fast-medium bowler’s next over. Captain Darren Sammy departed for 18, wicketkeeper Dhoni snapping up a bottom edge off Ojha.

Kemar Roach (two) and Carlton Baugh (13) perished in consecutive balls in the 41st over, bowled by Ojha. The former was run out while the latter was given lbw. Fidel Edwards and last man Devendra Bishoo (eight not out) stuck around for a while in a last-wicket stand of 24 before Edwards became Ojha’s fourth victim.