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West Indies battle to save Eden Test
Kolkata, Nov 8 (IANS) Indian bowlers ousted the West Indies openers as the visitors were engaged in a battle to save the first Test of Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series here Friday.
At tea on day three, the visitors were 112/3, still needing 107 runs to stave off an innings defeat at the Eden Gardens.
India earlier notched up 453 in reply to the Caribbeans' first innings score of 234. Darren Bravo (35; 75 b, 4×4), playing a cautious knock, was in the middle alongside Shivnarine Chanderpaul (0). Chris Gayle (33; 35 b, 4×7) and Kieran Powell (36; 83 b, 5×4) were back into the pavilion.
The highlight of the innings so far was a 68-run second wicket stand between Bravo and Powell.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni opened with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohmmad Shami.
Debutant Shami – the hero in the Caribbeans' first innings – looked lacklustre, and the dashing Gayle launched an onslaught, unleashing some powerful drives to pick up five boundaries in the Indian pacer's three overs. That forced Dhoni to replace the pacer with offie Ravichandran Ashwin.
While Gayle attacked, Kieran Powell was all defence, and it was left to the seasoned campaigner to do all the scoring. Gayle tore into Kumar with two beautifully timed boundaries in the tenth over, but got out in the same over.
The West Indies' hopes of a "Gaylestorm" to bail them out of the Test evaporated after the Jamaican (33; 35b 7×4) played a rather poor shot to spoon the ball at square leg where Virat Kohli pouched it. The burly opener had tried to pull the ball pitched short and wide outside the off stump.
Powell got off the mark facing his 31st delivery, soon after Gayle got out, but was lucky to survive on seven when Bhuvaneshwar failed to latch on to the batsman's top edged sweep despite running in from the long leg fence. The unlucky bowler was Pragyan Ojha.
Powell kept the scoreboard moving with singles and twos, and got two back-to-back fours in Ojha's second over.
Powell's 83-ball stay came to an end when he was foxed by Ashwin's flight and was hit on the pad plumb in front of the stumps.
Shami, coming back for his second spell, saw the back of Marlon Samuels (40) with one that reversed and had him leg before.