A dominant India put themselves on course for a series-clinching victory even as West Indies fought resolutely in their second innings to delay the inevitable after conceding a huge 478-run lead in the second cricket Test here on Wednesday.
West Indies were 195 for three at stumps on day three, still 283 runs behind, after India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni enforced the follow-on after bowling the visitors out for a paltry 153 runs in their first innings.
India had amassed a mammoth 631 for seven declared in their first essay, and then rode on Pragyan Ojha’s four-wicket haul to take a massive lead.
But the West Indies then launched a spirited fightback riding on half centuries from opener Adrian Barath (62) and Kirk Edwards (60). Darren Bravo (38, 84b, 1×4, 3×6) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (21, 40b, 3×4) were the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease at the close of play on an eventful third day.
The penultimate day’s proceedings will once again begin 30 minutes earlier (8.30am) to make up for the lost time because of poor light on day two.
The visitors had two contrasting batting displays on Wednesday. First, they batted like school kids to concede a huge lead, their biggest first-innings deficit since 1930 when they fell behind England by 563 runs, but in the second essay they frustrated the Indians with a dogged approach.
India still have a slim chance of bettering their biggest victory of innings and 239 runs, achieved against Bangladesh in Dhaka (2007). India’s biggest margin of win over West Indies is by innings and 112 runs in Mumbai in 2002.
Resuming at 34 for two, West Indies batted poorly in the morning session to straightway hand over the advantage to the Indians.
Scoreboard at stumps on the third day of the second cricket Test between India and the West Indies at Eden Gardens here today.
India 1st innings: 631/7 declared
West Indies 1st innings: (Overnight 34/2)
A Barath c Sehwag b Yadav 1 K Brathwaite c Gambhir b Ashwin 17 K Edwards lbw b Ojha 16 D Bravo b Yadav 30 S Chanderpaul lbw b Ashwin 4 M Samuels b Yadav 25 C Baugh lbw b Ojha 13 D Sammy c Dhoni b Ojha 18 K Roach run out 2 F Edwards lbw b Ojha 16 D Bishoo not out 8
Extras (LB-3) 3
Total (all out in 48 overs) 153
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-30, 3-42, 4-46, 5-92, 6-99, 7-120, 8-129, 9-129.
Bowling: P Ojha 22-5-64-4, U Yadav 7-1-23-3, R Ashwin 14-3-49-2, I Sharma 5-2-14-0.
West Indies 2nd innings (following on): A Barath c Laxman b Sharma 62 K Brathwaite c Dhoni b Yadav 9 K Edwards lbw b Sharma 60 Darren Bravo not out 38 Shivnarine Chanderpaul not out 21
Extras: (B-1, LB-3, W-1) 5 Total: (for 3 wickets in 62 overs) 195
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-116, 3-161 Bowling: Yadav 10-1-36-1, Sharma 14-3-41-2, Ojha 11-3-37-0, Ashwin 20-1-51-0, Yuvraj 3-0-14-0, Sehwag 4-0-12-0. (PTI)