Ishant shines on rain-hit second day, Harbhajan gets 400th Test scalp

Half-centuries from Carlton Baugh and Darren Bravo failed to stop the West Indies batting from again being undermined by Ishant Sharma in the rain-hit third Test against India Thursday, after Harbhajan Singh became the 11th bowler to capture 400 career wickets.

Baugh hit the top score of 60, and Bravo supported with 50, but Ishant collected five wickets for 77 runs from 21.3 overs, as West Indies were dismissed for 204 in their first innings on the second day at Windsor Park.

India were eight for no loss, when rain and bad light forced an early close.

Illness to Ravi Rampaul almost undermined West Indies, but typically rainy weather was again kind to them, and offered a temporary reprieve.

Rampaul fell ill, was vomitting, and had to be taken to hospital for medical treatment, reducing the West Indies’ bowling stock.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy had to share the new ball with Fidel Edwards, but the seasonal weather gave the hosts and Rampaul a few more hours to recover.

Only 80.3 overs out of a possible 180 have been delivered over the first two days of the Test being staged in the Dominica capital for the first time.

It was the second time in the series that Ishant collected five wickets, following his six for 55 in the first innings in the drawn second Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Bravo added 59 for the sixth wicket in counter-attacking style with Baugh before he was caught behind off Sharma, stroking eight fours from 134 balls in a little more than three and a half hours of batting.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy put on a valuable 41 with Baugh to inch his side closer to the 200-run threshold.

But Sammy was caught at forward short leg for 20 off Harbhajan to trigger a collapse that saw West Indies lose their last four wickets for five runs from 57 deliveries.

Baugh became Harbhajan’s landmark Test scalp, when he gave himself room to cut a sharply turning delivery from the patka-wearing off-spinner, and was bowled. The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman struck six fours and one six from 79 balls.

Tail-enders Fidel Edwards and Devendra Bishoo offered token resistance before Sharma bowled them both off the inside edge, taking his aggregate of wickets to a series-high 21.

Harbhajan ended with two for 26 from 15 overs.

Before lunch, West Indies remained under pressure, when two wickets – one of them, the prized scalp of Shivnarine Chanderpaul – set West Indies back on 128 for five.

The weather, which restricted the two sides to just 31.1 overs on the opening day, delayed play until 20 minutes after the regularly scheduled start.

West Indies started steadily from their overnight total of 75 for three, but Chanderpaul, playing in his West Indies record 133rd Test, was caught behind for 23 off Munaf Patel in the first hour.

Marlon Samuels suffered a blow to the helmet early from Ishant Sharma, and never looked settled before Praveen Kumar bowled him for nine, dragging a delivery into his stumps.

In the closing stages before the interval, Bravo essayed an imperious extra cover drive off Sharma, and Baugh swung off-spinner Harbhajan Singh over square leg for a six to bring the modest crowd alive.

Kumar finished with two for 22 from 16 overs.

West Indies trail 0-1 in the three-Test series, following a 63-run defeat in the first Test inside four days at Sabina Park in Jamaica, and a draw in the second Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

(IANS/CMC)

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