Mumbai: Nov 23, 2011
West Indies continued to grind the hapless Indian bowling attack on a batsman-friendly Wankhede Stadium track to take total control in the third and final Test on Wednesday.
Darren Bravo, who slammed his third century in four Tests and second on the trot against India, and Kieran Powell put on 160 runs for the third wicket before the latter got dismissed and then the visitors went to tea at a formidable 494 for 4 in 157 overs.
Powell, who faced 149 balls in his 147-minute stay during his aggressive knock, was out for 81 when he edged left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to rival captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.
Bravo was unbeaten on 156, his second successive ton of the series and third in his last four games, after a stay of over six hours in which he faced 265 balls and hit 16 fours and giving him company at the other end was Marlon Samuels (18).
The visitors added 116 runs in 36 overs for the lone wicket of Powell in the second session after having lost Kirk Edwards in the pre-lunch period while adding 111 runs in 30 overs.
The post-lunch period saw the left-handed duo of Bravo and Powell having complete control over the listless Indian bowling attack for most of the two-hour session on a easy-paced track. The slowness of the track allowed Powell to lean back and punch the Indian bowlers through the off side for runs in boundaries.
Bravo, 105 at lunch, was the less adventurous partner in his association with Powell as he punched powerfully off the back foot to the covers against off spinners Virender Sehwag and R Ashwin, who operated in tandem in the first hour after the interval.
The 100 of the partnership came up in 91 minutes and 175 balls while Powell reached his 50 in 91 balls with 7 fours.
The first post-lunch hour produced 76 runs in 22 overs.
Sehwag was brought back into the attack and bowled in tandem with Ashwin who had a wicketless spell of none for 26 in 9 overs bowled on both sides of lunch.
Sehwag later gave way to Pragyan Ojha after bowling 16 overs without a wicket to his name. Even Sachin Tendulkar, bowling leg breaks, was used as the seventh bowler by Dhoni.
Powell was finally dismissed after a near five-hour stay 19 short of a century when he was caught behind off Ojha while trying to play a forcing shot to the off.
His innings of 81 was compiled in 147 minutes and he struck nine fours in his 149-ball stay.
His partnership with Bravo produced 160 runs in 279 balls, the third century stand for the visitors in the innings following 137 runs between openers Adrian Barath and Kraigg Brathwaite and 164 between Edwards and Bravo.
Edwards added 21 runs this morning to his overnight score before edging pacer Ishant Sharma to home team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps. His 86 off 165 balls contained 13 fours and he fell just before the end of the first hour.
For the next three hours to tea, the Indians could add the wicket of only Powell to their kitty.
For India, Ashwin has been the most successful with 2 for 141 and both his successes were yesterday. He went wicket-less today while Ojha and Sharma tasted one success each.
With the wicket playing true, a tall West Indian score in excess of 600 loomed on the horizon which would put pressure on the star-packed Indian batting line-up when they start their reply.
Brief Scores: West Indies 494 for 4 (Darren Bravo 156*, Kirk Edwards 86, Kieran Powell 81, Kraigg Brathwaite 68, Adrian Barath 62; R Ashwin 2 for 141, Ishant Sharma 1 for 65, Pragyan Ojha 1 for 98) vs India