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Rahul's 158 helps India open up 162 run lead

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India reached 358-5 at the close of play on Day 2 of the second Test against West Indies at Sabina Park on Sunday, thus opening up a first innings lead of 162 runs. India's advantage was built on the back of an excellent 158 from opener KL Rahul, and was well supported by a set of 40s from three of the top 5 batsmen, some of whom will no doubt feel they missed out on getting a big score.

Having begun the day on 126/1, India extended their advantage with KL Rahul's career-best test score of 158 and useful contributions from Virat Kohli (44) and Cheteshwar Pujara (46).

Rahul and Pujara started off cautiously adding to their overnight score of 126/1 slowly. The only bright spark for the home side in the opening few hours was pacer Shannon Gabriel who time and again beat Rahul outside the off stump. He managed two draw two edges also but both fell short of the close in fielders.

But once Gabriel ran out of steam, Rahul pounced on anything loose and the rival bowlers helped him by hurling short ones. He skipped down the track to Chase and lofted the off spinner over mid on to bring up his century with a majestic six. Pujara too defended well and pushed hard between the wickets.

The second wicket partnership was finally broken when Pujara was run out for 46 while trying to pinch a single. He was comfortably caught short of his crease by a direct hit.

Pujara was replaced by skipper Virat Kohli, who also found scoring a bit hard initially. Rahul meanwhile looked on course for a double hundred before he was strangled out caught down the leg side off Gabriel. The appeal was referred upstairs by onfield umpire Aleem Dar and their was considerable confusion as to why he did so when the ball clearly carried to the wicketkeeper, but despite any real evidence of an edge, Rahul was given out by the third umpire, much to his disappointment.

Virat Kohli looked to be picking up the pace when he smashed 16 off one over from Devendra Bishoo, but in the very next over he fell to Roston Chase, caught brilliant at bat pad by Chandrika.

The Ashwin at no.6 experiment failed to work on this occasion with the off-spinner trapped leg before for 3 by Bishoo.

Ajinkya Rahane (42*) and Wriddhiman Saha (17*) were at the crease at the close of play with the former living dangerously at times as he looked to up the scoring rate.

As things stand, India will no doubt look to get as many runs as they can in the first innings to ensure they only have to bat once in this test match as they look to push for another victory on a pitch that showed enough signs on day 2 that it was going to only misbehave further as the match wore on.

Brief Scores:

WEST INDIES 196 (Jermaine Blackwood 62, Marlon Samuels 37, Miguel Cummins 24 not out; Ravichandran Ashwin 16-2-52-5, Mohammed Shami 2-23, Ishant Sharma 2-53)

 

INDIA 357 for five (K.L. Rahul 158, Cheteshwar Pujara 46, Virat Kohli 44, Ajinkya Rahane 42, Shikhar Dhawan 27; Roston Chase 2-91)