Tea Day 5: Fidel strikes early as India chase 180

Roseau, Dominica, CMC – Fidel Edwards followed up his career-best batting with an early wicket for West Indies, as India chased 180 for victory in the third Test on Sunday.

Edwards trapped opener Abhinav Mukund lbw for a duck with the first ball of the chase, as India reached 19 for one in their second innings at the tea break on the final day at Windsor Park, with Murali Vijay not out on 14 and Rahul Dravid not out on four.

Earlier, Edwards made 30 and shared a vital ninth-wicket stand of 65 with veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul, as West Indies were dismissed for 322 in their second innings about 45 minutes before the break. Chanderpaul finished with the top score of an undefeated 116, his 23rd Test hundred, to boost the West Indies innings before Suresh Raina claimed the last two wickets in successive overs.

Edwards lofted a delivery from the part-time off-spinner, and was caught at long-off before Raina had Devendra Bishoo caught at slip for one, finishing with two wickets for 32 runs from 15.3 overs. Before lunch, Chanderpaul had formalised his 23rd Test hundred to carry the West Indies fight, and extend their innings to 294 for eight at the interval.

Starting the day on 73, Chanderpaul reached his hundred from 265 balls, turning Ishant Sharma through square leg for two, and has rallied the West Indies lower order in a bid for the hosts to either save the Test, or score an unlikely victory. He became the second century-maker in the innings, following Kirk Edwards’ 110 on Saturday that helped to revive the hosts.

Like Edwards, he almost gave it away on 99, when he tucked a delivery from off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to forward short leg, took an exploratory step down the pitch, and was quick enough to regain his ground, with the throw coming from the alert fielder Abhinav Mukund.

West Indies, resuming from their overnight total of 224 for six, were ushered over the 250-run mark before Sammy was dubiously caught at forward short leg off Harbhajan for 17, playing defensively forward. TV replays suggested the ball ricocheted from his pad onto his chest before flying to the fielder.

Three balls later, Ravi Rampaul was run out for one, when he failed to beat Sharma’s direct hit at the striker’s end, going for a single. But Edwards, whose tail-end exploits with the bat include a few face-saving partnerships in the past, joined Chanderpaul, partnering him to his milestone, and spending more than three hours at the crease, further frustrating the Indians.

Harbhajan was India’s most successful bowler with four for 75 from 42 overs, and Praveen Kumar captured two for 44 from 21 overs.

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