Tea Day 1: Laxman stands tall for India

Bridgetown, Barbados, CMC – West Indies endured a fruitless toil before tea, when VVS Laxman and Suresh Raina plundered half-centuries to revive India in the Second Digicel Test on Tuesday.

 

West Indies failed to make a breakthrough, as India, sent in to bat, reached 147 for four at the break, with Laxman unbeaten on 69 and Raina not out on 52. The pair added 109 – unbroken – for the fifth wicket to rescue India from a perilous 38 for four before lunch.

 

A leg glance for his eighth four – off Fidel Edwards to the fine leg boundary – brought Laxman to his 50 from 75 balls, and Raina paddled leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to long leg for a single to reach the mark from 90 balls.

 

Two wickets – both to Ravi Rampaul – in the penultimate over before lunch had given West Indies early control of the match before Raina joined Laxman, and loosened their hold.

 

The hosts bowled with much discipline to limit India to 13 for two at the drinks break, but Rampaul tightened their grip, when he had opener Murali Vijay caught behind down the leg-side for 11, and Virat Kohli caught at second slip for a second-ball duck, gloving a rising ball.

 

Gaining appreciable bounce from the Kensington Oval pitch, and prodigious movement under partly cloudy skies, India reached 44 for four at the interval.

 

Typically for this home international season, Rampaul gave West Indies an early breakthrough, opener Abhinav Mukund was caught at gully for five, fending a short, rising delivery.

 

West Indies captain Darren Sammy added to India’s troubles, when he had Rahul Dravid, a century-maker in the first Test, caught behind for five, leaving the visitors eight for two. Rampaul has been the most successful West Indies bowler with three wickets for 38 runs from 16 overs. 

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