Early wickets help to keep India in harness

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The Independent Online
West Indies' fast bowlers hit back here yesterday to reduce India to 272 for 6 in the morning session of the second day of the Fourth Test. At lunch, VVS Laxman, India's last specialist batsman, was at the crease on 17, along with wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra, unbeaten on 12.</p>India had started the day's play on 226 for 3 but captain Sourav Ganguly departed early, having added just four runs to his overnight 41. The left-hander cut paceman Cameron Cuffy to point where Wavell Hinds held on to a sharp catch.</p>Three overs later Dravid, who had started the day unbeaten on 86, dragged a wideish ball from Mervyn Dillon on to his stumps to end his 291-ball knock with 91.</p>Dillon softened up Anil Kumble with a short ball that hit him flush on the jaw and then had him caught at leg slip for six while fending off another rising delivery as India slumped to 257 for 6.</p>The first four of the day arrived 90 minutes after the start of play when Laxman, man of the match in India's 37-run Second Test triumph at Trinidad last month after half-centuries in both innings, drove paceman Adam Sanford straight down the ground.</p>Ratra got off the mark by edging left-arm fast bowler Pedro Collins through the slip cordon for four.</p>Opener Wasim Jaffer had scored 86 on Friday but Sachin Tendulkar's bad run of form with the bat continued. He suffered his third duck from his last four Test innings when out first ball.</p>West Indies won the third Test at Barbados to level the five-match series at 1-1. </p>