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West Indies end day 2 in St. Lucia at 107-1 as Indian bowlers struggle again

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Containing India to 353 in the first innings after Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhaman Saha hit centuries in the post-lunch session, West Indies fought back to score 107-1 on the second day of the third Test match at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia on Wednesday.

At stumps, Kraigg Brathwaite at 53 not out off 143 balls and Darren Bravo 18 off 66 balls were at the crease in 47 overs, still trailing India by 247 runs.

India, however, got a breakthrough in the 24th over when opener Leon Johnson was run out for 23 by a quick throw at the non-striker's end by KL Rahul when Windies' score was 59.

India's three pacers - Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma - and two spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja contained the openers with line and length, but did not succeed in getting any wickets at the end of the day's session.

India did have their chances though - in the sixth over, Johnson was dropped at second slip by Jadeja. Shami was also unlucky to not get the first wicket when Rahul dropped a tough chance offered by Johnson when the score was still 12.

Earlier, Windies bundled out India for 353-runs in 129.4 overs.

Surviving the nervous nineties and after getting stuck at 99 for six overs, Ashwin crossed the 100-mark in style by lofting a Roston Chase ball for six over long off in the 117th over of the innings, taking the score to 323 for 5 wickets.

This was Ashwin's second Test century in this series after 113 in the first Test at Antigua on July 20 and fourth against the Windies.

Three overs later, Saha too hit his maiden Test hundred with two runs of a Chase delivery which he stroked through the covers in the 121st over, taking the overall score to 332 for 5.

Incidentally, Saha is just the fourth Indian wicket-keeper after Vijay Manjrekar, MS Dhoni and Ajay Ratra to hit a Test century away from home.

In the following over (122), Saha nicked a ball from Alzarri Joseph to be caught by stumper Shane Dowrich for 104 in 227 balls with 13 boundaries, which is the highest in this innings.

Ashwin's sixer was the only one in the Indian innings. His marathon innings ended on 118 runs off 297 balls with six boundaries.

The centurion duo also set a record 213-run partnership for the sixth wicket against the Windies.

With the star middle order batsmen back in the pavilion, the tail-enders did not last long after Jadeja left for 6-run, caught behind by keeper Dowrich off a Miguel Cummins' ball, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma got out for ducks, leaving Mohammed Sami unbeaten with no score. India lost its last 4 wickets for a paltry 2-runs.

For the hosts, keeper Dowrich took four catches, while Cummins and debutant Alzarri Jospeh shared three wickets each, followed by Shannon Gabriel and Chase two each. Skipper Jason Holder did not get any wickets.

With a record double century partnership, Ashwin and Saha pulled India out of deep trouble on the first day defying the Windies attack and taking the score to 339 from 126 for 5 wickets on Tuesday after Ajinkya Rahane left for 35 runs.

Summarised scores:

INDIA 353 (Ravichandran Ashwin 118, Wriddhiman Saha 104, K.L. Rahul 50, Ajinkya Rahane 35; Miguel Cummins 3-54, Alzarri Joseph 3-69, Roston Chase 2-70, Shannon Gabriel 2-84)

WEST INDIES 107 for one (Kraigg Brathwaite 53 not out, Leon Johnson 23)