Gros Islet: Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha completed memorable hundreds as they stretched their overnight stand to take India to 340 for 6 after lunch on Day Two of the third Test against the West Indies here on Wednesday.
Resuming the day at 234 for five, India took control of the game in what was a second consecutive wicketless session for the West Indies.
The visitors have the upper hand in the game largely due to the efforts of Ashwin (112 not out) and Saha (104), who batted out another session to stretch their partnership to 213 runs before the latter was out.
Both Saha and Ashwin once again looked sturdy and intent to play for time. The ball was still new, as Alzarri Joseph (2-54) and Shannon Gabriel (1-82) started off proceedings. But it seemed the pitch had calmed down a bit since day one as there was not much bite in the West Indies' bowling this morning.
Saha got to his third Test half-century off 135 balls, and thereafter India's 250-mark came up in the 97th over. But the two batsmen were still not looking to get on with the scoring rate as they looked to settle down and play a long innings that would give their team the upper hand once again.
They were helped in this endeavour by some wayward bowling from Miguel Cummins (0-54) and Gabriel, while skipper Jason Holder (0-34) himself wasn't too penetrative either.
Roston Chase (2-50) meanwhile persisted with his leg-stump line, bowling to a predominantly leg-side field to Ashwin, and thus looking to dry up the runs. The two batsmen didn’t mind as only 21 runs came in the first hour of play spanning 13 overs. However in the second hour, the scoring rate finally picked up a bit as a more-confident Saha played some fine shots.
He wasn't too aggressive, but looked positive against the pacers and looked to attack Chase whenever possible, as he quickly caught up in the nervous 90s with his teammate.
Ashwin though was dropped on 92, as he hit Chase straight to Leon Johnson at short leg in the 110th over.
Thereafter he lingered on quite a bit, especially on 99, and it helped bring up the 150-mark of the duo’s partnership off 358 deliveries.
Previously, the Indian 300-mark had also come up in the 113th over.
On Day One, the West Indies won the toss and elected to field. India were reduced to 130 for 5 at one stage, after which Ashwin and Saha rescued the innings with 200 plus stand. - PTI
India 1st innings
L. Rahul c Brathwaite b Chase 50
S. Dhawan c Dowrich b Gabriel 1
V. Kohli c Bravo b Joseph 3
A. Rahane b Chase 35
R. Sharma c Dowrich b Joseph 9
R. Ashwin not out 112
W. Saha c Dowrich b Joseph 104
R. Jadeja not out 0
Extras (b-7, lb-8, w-1, nb-10) 26
Total (6 wickets; 122.1 overs) 340
To bat: I. Sharma, Mohammed Shami, B. Kumar
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-19, 3-77, 4-87, 5-126, 6-339
Bowling: S. Gabriel 22-4-82-1, A. Joseph 23-6-65-3, M. Cummins 19-6-54-0, J. Holder 19-7-34-0, R. Chase 30.1-9-63-2, K. Brathwaite 9-1-27-0
West Indies: K. Brathwaite, L. Johnson, D. Bravo, M. Samuels, J. Blackwood, R. Chase, S. Dowrich, J. Holder, M. Cummins, A. Joseph, S. Gabriel.
Umpire: Nigel Llong & Rod Tucker
TV umpire: Gregory Brathwaite
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle