North Sound: India maintained their stranglehold over the West Indies with a healthy 75-run first innings lead, which swelled to 89 by lunch time on the third day of the opening cricket Test here on Saturday.
India bowled out West Indies for 222 in 74.2 overs in their first innings in reply to 297 with Ishant Sharma returning with best figures of 5 for 43.
Besides Ishant, Mohammed Shami (2/48) and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/64) scalped two wickets a piece. For West Indies, Roston Chase top-scored with 48, while skipper Jason Holder played a fighting 39-run knock as the hosts failed to build up partnerships.
At the opening break of the third day, India were 14 for no loss in their second innings with Mayank Agarwal batting on 8 and KL Rahul on 6.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 189 for eight, Holder and Miguel Cummins stuck together for 103 balls, forging a crucial 41-run partnership for the ninth wicket to take West Indies close to the Indian total.
Holder kept a calm head and guided his younger partner Cummins brilliantly to get as close as possible to the Indian total. While Holder made 39 off 65 balls with the help of five boundaries, Cummins gave his skipper the right support from the other end by just staying at the crease although he couldn't open his account. Cummins' determination to stay at the crease and give his skipper company can be gauged from the fact that he played 45 balls for no runs.
The Indian bowlers found it difficult to break the stubborn partnership between Holder and Cummins as they needed 85 balls in the opening session of the third day to dislodge the stand.
The partnership was finally broken when Holder edged a Mohammed Shami delivery to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant behind the stumps in the 74th over. Left-arm spinner Jadeja finally drew curtains on West Indies innings when he cleaned up Cummins an over later.
Earlier, a late three-wicket burst from Ishant to complete his five-for and reckless batting by West Indies helped India take control.
The West Indies lost five wickets in the final session as they reeled at 189 for eight in their first innings at stumps on Friday, trailing India by 108 runs.
India were helped by Roston Chase (48 off 47), John Campbell (23 off 30), Darren Bravo (18 off 27), Shai Hope (24 off 65) and Shimron Hetmyer (35 off 47) who were all guilty of throwing their wickets away after promising starts.
India, who resumed the day at 203 for six, went on to make 297, courtesy a fighting 58 from Ravindra Jadeja who was ably supported by Ishant (19 off 62) during their 60-run stand for the eighth wicket.
The conditions were good for batting but the West Indies batsmen failed to apply themselves. Ishant made life difficult for them, both with bat and ball. After frustrating the hosts in the morning session with his dogged stay in the middle, Ishant troubled the opposition with his incisive bowling spells which included highly effective cross seam deliveries.
He was brilliant too with catching off his own bowling as he got two wickets in that manner. At tea, the West Indies were struggling at 82 for three. Jadeja removed debutant Shamarh Brooks (11) to leave the home team at 50 for three....