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India extend lead with Rahane ton; rain ruins final session

 Agencies |  2016-08-03 22:59:24.0  |  New Delhi

India extend lead with Rahane ton; rain ruins final session

Rahane (108 not out) carved out his seventh Test hundred to strengthen India’s hold on the game as the visitors declared their innings at 500 for nine in response to West Indies’ first innings score of 196.

Rahane’s gritty century was followed by the declaration in the post lunch session but intermittent rain ensured not a single ball was bowled for the remainder of the day.

Early tea was called after a second rain interruption. Post lunch, Amit Mishra (21) had joined Rahane and the leg spinner looked for some quick runs, smacking Devendra Bishoo (1-107) for six. The pacers were brought on almost immediately to block any plans of quick scoring on part of the batsmen. Even so, the 450-mark came up in the 161st over, as also the 250-lead. 

Thereafter, rain started pouring in. There is threat of tropical storm Earl still looming large on the match. After an hour, the game restarted with just about 25 minutes to play until tea. 

In this interim, West Indies got a couple of quick wickets, as Roston Chase (5-121) removed Mishra, caught at short leg, before sending back Mohammed Shami (0) first ball. Umesh Yadav denied Chase a hat trick, even as Rahane tried to speed up to his hundred, smacking Chase for a six. The session had been extended and Kraigg Brathwaite (0-40) came on to bowl, and both Rahane and Yadav went in for quick runs. 

In doing so, the Indian vice-captain completed his hundred off 231 balls. Yadav though got out, hitting the ball high in the air and was caught at short midwicket, as Chase completed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket. India declared their innings thereafter, leaving about 40 minutes for the West Indies to play out before the close of the day, but rain intervened again and an early tea was taken. Earlier in the day, the hosts had come out firing even as Jason Holder (1-72) troubled both Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha (47).

Starting from overnight 358/5, India pushed to take their lead as fas as possible, while keeping in mind the possibility of rain later in the match as a tropical storm builds up in the Caribbean Sea. 
The day started bright and sunny though, and Rahane quickly got to his Test fifty off 93 balls. The 50-partnership for the sixth wicket came up off 116 deliveries.

Shanon Gabriel (1-62) and Miguel Cummins (0-87) bowled well in the first hour of play, as the West Indies continued their ploy of bowling tight and not giving away easy runs to the batsmen.

Only 34 runs came in the first hour of the morning before Bishoo and Holder came on to bowl. That is when Rahane’s troubles started as the Windies skipper mixed his incoming and out-swinging deliveries well, and troubled the set batsman.

Rahane was beaten a couple times, and there were other interesting LBW shouts against him as well, but he stayed put at the crease. He was frustrated though, and the good spell induced an edge in the 147th over off Bishoo but Rajendra Chandrika dropped him at backward point. He was on 65.

Rahane managed to survive this period of play and went into the break unbeaten, trying to break the shackles with two boundaries in the 148th over.

The 400-mark had come up for India in the 141st over, and also the lead crossed the 200-mark. However, run scoring was tightened up further and Saha was in some trouble too.

Holder then finally got some reward for bowling tight, as he trapped the wicketkeeper-batsman LBW just before lunch, first wicket for him in this series. Saha was dismissed just short of his fifty, and his 98-run stand with Rahane also was finally broken. 

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