India 588-8 dec West Indies 65-3: Centuries for Dravid and Kaif as India cruise into driving seat

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The Independent Online

India amassed 588 for 8 declared, their highest total in their 40 Tests in the Caribbean, and then reduced the West Indies to 65 for 3 in reply to take control on the second day of the second Test at the Beausejours Stadium yesterday.

Following Virender Sehwag's commanding 180 on Saturday, the captain Rahul Dravid, with 146, and Mohammed Kaif, unbeaten on 148, completed untroubled hundreds of their own that exposed the limitations of the one-dimensional West Indies attack on a lifeless pitch and strengthened India's first-day position.

Faced with the daunting challenge of scoring 388 to prevent the follow-on, the West Indies were soon set back by the loss of the opener Daren Ganga and Ramnaresh Sarwan, both lbw to successive balls to the fast bowler Munaf Patel.

The veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble followed with the always critical wicket of captain Lara, another lbw victim for 7, but the left-handers Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul nervously survived to the end when the West Indies, who drew the first Test with the last pair at the wicket, once more floundering.

India resumed at their overnight 361 for 4 and Dravid, 95 at the start, passed his 23rd Test hundred off the first ball of the day's fourth over. He was eventually out for 146 to a wide, long-hop leg-break from Sarwan that he sliced to cover before lunch. His stay of five and three-quarter hours included 16 fours as he and Kaif added 177 for the fifth wicket.

Kaif, the slim, 26-year-old right-hander who has been unable secured a regular place in the team in the seven years since his debut, reached his first hundred in his 11th Test just after lunch and was unbeaten at the declaration after five and a quarter hours during which 12 fours were his main scoring shots.

* The India batsman Sachin Tendulkar says his recovery from a shoulder injury is on track as he aims to get fit for the triangular series in Sri Lanka in August. Tendulkar ruptured a tendon in his left shoulder in March.

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