Kingston (Jamaica): A patient Hanuma Vihari struck the third half-century of his career to guide India to 336 for seven against the West Indies at lunch on the second day of the second cricket Test here on Saturday.
Coming on to bat at the overnight score of 42, Vihari stuck to his task and held one end together to go into the break unbeaten on 84 off 158 balls, 16 runs shy of his maiden century. Resuming at the overnight score of 264 for five, India lost Rishabh Pant (27) on the opening delivery of the day.
Pant was cleaned up by West Indies skipper Jason Holder (4/62) with an inswinger as the batsman leaned for a drive. Thereafter, overnight batsman Vihari and new man in Ravindra Jadeja played according to the situation to nullify any threat from the West Indies bowlers. Vihari, who resumed his knock at 42, notched up his fifty in 96 balls with the help of an inside-edge boundary off Holder in the 97th over of the innings.
Jadeja did the all the hardwork but gave away his wicket when it mattered. He played a patient knock of 16 off 69 balls but just when it was time to carry on, he top-edged a Rahkeem Cornwall (2/97) delivery to Darren Bravo at mid-on while going on for a big slog. Vihari and Jadeja shared 38 runs off exactly 10 overs for the seventh wicket. An over later, Vihari got a big reprieve when he was dropped by John Campbell off Cornwall at first slip.
To add to West Indies' wounds, Vihari picked up two boundaries in the remaining balls of Cornwall’s over to take India forward. Vihari and Ishant later added unbeaten 34 runs for the eight wicket to take India home without any further damage.
Earlier, Kohli’s fighting 76 and opener Mayank Agarwal’s half century guided India to 264 for five on the first day of their second World Championships Test against the West Indies here.
Put into bat on a tricky Sabina Park pitch, India were reduced to 46 for two in the opening session, but Kohli and Agarwal (55) worked hard to rebuild the innings with a 69-run stand for the third wicket.
Kohli had another 49-run partnership, with first Test centurion Ajinkya Rahane (24), for the fourth wicket as India picked up the scoring rate in the second session, which saw 85 runs being added from 29 overs.
But the two big wickets - of Kohli and Rahane - in the final session put the brakes on India just when the visiting team was beginning to consolidate. Captain Kohli faced 163 deliveries, hitting 10 boundaries.
At the draw of stumps, Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari were batting on 27 and 42 respectively, having stitched 62 runs from 17.5 overs for the unfinished sixth wicket.
A lot will depend on the duo for India to post a good total on the second day. Pant, who has a tendency of throwing away wickets, was batting sensibly during his 64-ball unbeaten knock, hitting two fours and a six while Vihari was going strong in an 80-ball unbeaten innings, which had eight boundaries in it.
Kohli, who worked hard in the first and second sessions, was beginning to impose himself on the West Indian bowlers and looked set for a bigger innings. But he fell to a peach of a delivery bowled by his West Indian counterpart Jason Holder....