India 200 & 171 West Indies 103 & 18-1: Lara battling against pitch as West Indies seek unlikely victory

Click to follow

The West Indies rounded off India's second innings for 171 an hour and 20 minutes into the third day but one ironic gesture from the captain Brian Lara as they chased the 269 needed for the victory that would clinch the series indicated their lack of conviction.

Lara had to come in after the opener Chris Gayle was caught off the second ball of the innings, from Sanath Sreesanth, to complete his pair. He was unbeaten with eight at lunch when the West Indies were 18 for 1.

When the off-spinner Harbhajan Singh spun an off-break across the face of his bat and into the gloves of the wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni, Lara turned into the direction of the head groundsman Charlie Joseph beyond the boundary and clapped on his bat.

Even before a ball was bowled in the match, Lara described the pitch as "under-prepared" and said he would not want to be batting on it on the fourth and fifth days. It has provided bounce and inconsistent height for the faster bowlers, turn for Harbhajan and problems for the batsmen that were mastered only by the Indian captain Rahul Dravid, with scores of 81 and 68.

Dravid was 62 at the start of the day with India 128 for 6, ahead by 225. They added another 43 as Corey Collymore and Jerome Taylor shared the last four wickets.

Collymore finished with 5 for 48, the second time he had a haul of at least five wickets in an innings in a Test at Sabina Park. Taylor dismissed Sreesanth, his 4 for 45 bringing his match tally to 9 for 95.

Comments