Ajinkya Rahane hit back-to-back half-centuries while skipper Virat Kohli too made a well-made fifty as India took control of the first Test against West Indies on day 3 in Antigua. After a career-defining 81 in the first innings, Rahane remained unbeaten on 53 while Kohli was batting on 51 as India reached 185 for three at stumps on Saturday. The visitors now enjoy an overall lead of 260 runs with seven wickets in hand and two full days play remaining. Dropped on 17 by John Campbell off Kemar Roach’s bowling, Rahane made full use of the life to register the 18th half-century of his career. Rahane and Kohli shared an unbeaten 104 runs off 41.4 overs for the fourth wicket to take India to a comfortable position in the match. (SCORECARD)
After bowling out West Indies for 222, Indian openers came in to bat and built a brief stand of 30-run. Mayank Agarwal (16) was found in front of the wickets off a Chase delivery. Cheteshwar Pujara joined KL Rahul in the middle and both built a stand of 43 runs to get past the 50-run mark. Rahul was also sent to pavilion by Chase after he scored 38 runs. Pujara (25) was scalped by a peach of a delivery by Kemar Roach.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 189 for eight, Holder and Miguel Cummins stuck together for 103 balls, forging a crucial 41-run partnership for the ninth wicket to take West Indies close to the Indian total. Holder kept a calm head and guided his younger partner Cummins brilliantly to get as close as possible to the Indian total.
While Holder made 39 off 65 balls with the help of five boundaries, Cummins gave his skipper the right support from the other end by just staying at the crease although he couldn’t open his account. Cummins’ determination to stay at the crease and give his skipper company can be gauged from the fact that he played 45 balls for no runs.
The Indian bowlers found it difficult to break the stubborn partnership between Holder and Cummins as they needed 85 balls in the opening session of the third day to dislodge the stand.
The partnership was finally broken when Holder edged a Mohammed Shami delivery to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant behind the stumps in the 74th over. Left-arm spinner Jadeja finally drew curtains on West Indies innings when he cleaned up Cummins an over later.