West Indies were facing a pivotal third day of the second Test against India after opener Lokesh Rahul struck his third Test century to help the tourists tighten their grip on the contest at Sabina Park here Sunday.
The hosts managed just four wickets on Sunday’s second day as India marched to 358 for five at the close – a lead of 162 runs. It already represents a mountain to climb for West Indies who were bundled out for 196 in their first innings.
Rahul, unbeaten on 75 at the start, carved out 158 – the third time he has reached triple figures in his fledgling six-Test career. He faced 303 balls and counted 15 boundaries and three sixes.
Cheteshwar Pujara stroked 46, captain Virat Kohli gathered 44 while Ajinkya Rahane ended unbeaten on 42, to further exacerbate the Windies’ frustration on a day of toil with little reward.
Part-time off-spinner Roston Chase proved West Indies’ most successful bowler with two for 91.
Resuming the day on 126 for one, India made slow progress in the first hour, adding just 22 runs in 13 overs, with Rahul and Pujara untroubled by the Windies attack.
Rahul entered the 90s quietly but spent little time there, punching Chase to the mid-off boundary in one over before clearing the long-on boundary in the bowler’s next over, to reach his landmark about half-hour before lunch, to be not out on 107 at the interval.
Pujara, meanwhile, unbeaten on 18 at the start, reached the break on 37 as India added only 59 in the session to reach lunch on 185 without further loss.
The pair extended their second wicket partnership to 121 before being separated, when Pujara was run out just short of his half-century, about 45 minutes after lunch.
He clipped pacer and captain Jason Holder square on the onside and took off for a single but failed to beat Chase’s direct hit at the non-striker’s end.
WEST INDIES 196 (Jermaine Blackwood 62, Marlon Samuels 37, Miguel Cummins 24 not out; Ravi Ashwin 5-52, Mohammed Shami 2-23, Ishant Sharma 2-53)
INDIA 358 for five (Lokesh Rahul 158, Cheteshwar Pujara 46, Virat Kohli 44, Ajinkya Rahane 42 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 27; Roston Chase 2-91)