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Rahane century helps India declare 304 ahead

On stop-start third afternoon, visitor amasses 500 for 9 before rain arrives to give West Indies a break

Rahane century helps India declare 304 ahead - Cricket News
Ajinkya Rahane remained unbeaten after bringing up his seventh Test century on a rain-affected third of the second Test between India and West Indies in Antigua.
Ajinkya Rahane’s seventh Test century extended India’s dominance over West Indies on the third day of the second Test at Sabina Park in Kingston on Monday (August 1). During a rain-hit post-lunch session, India declared its first innings on 500 for 9, stretching its overall lead to 304, with Rahane unbeaten on 108 off 237 balls.
 
The rain arrived for a second time in the afternoon not long after Virat Kohli called his men in, forcing early tea to be taken.
 
Rahane, who had survived a searching examination from Jason Holder in the morning session when India resumed on 358 for 5, looked at ease against the West Indies captain soon after the break, even hammering a short ball to the point boundary.
 
Meanwhile, Amit Mishra freed his arms against Devendra Bishoo to fetch a huge six over long-on. While Rahane played his natural game, Mishra hurried through the runs with dark clouds gathering ominously. Continuing from where he had left in the last Test, Mishra further signalled his intent with a late-cut four off Miguel Cummins, but the skies opened up soon after, forcing the players off the ground.


 
As India resumed on 456 for 6 after rain delayed proceedings by almost an hour, Roston Chase, the off-spinner, prised out Mishra and Mohammed Shami off consecutive deliveries. While Mishra nudged a slower one to Rajendra Chandrika at short-leg off his pads, a straighter delivery knocked Shami’s off-stump out.

Shimmying down the track, Rahane moved into the 90s with a huge six over cover, and brought up his century with an outside-edge off a Chase delivery as the ball scurried between Shane Dowrich, the wicketkeeper, and first slip to the boundary.
 
Umesh Yadav hammered consecutive boundaries off Chase before becoming the off-spinner’s fifth victim of the innings, thus prompting the declaration. It was Chase’s first five-wicket haul in only his second Test.
 
In the morning, a watchful 98-run sixth-wicket partnership between Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha helped India extend its advantage.
 
Rahane, overnight 42, was typically composed and, capitalising on the prolonged defensive bowling by the hosts, brought up his eighth Test half-century, cutting a wide delivery from Miguel Cummins towards third man. Soon, he unfurled a lovely cover-driven four off Shannon Gabriel, which brought up the fifty-run stand for the sixth wicket and had class written all over it.


 
Saha played able foil, knocking away the singles and punishing the loose deliveries as he guided India past the 400-run mark with a sweep backward of square-leg off Bishoo.
 
West Indies’ pacers attempted to stick to the line outside off, with the slip cordon lurking in anticipation, but they didn’t find any success. Around the time the lead had swelled past 200, Holder’s pace and accuracy troubled Rahane somewhat. Rahane survived a few aggressive appeals in an over, as Holder twice beat the outside edge of the well-set batsman.
 
A few quiet overs passed, and a frustrated Rahane top-edged a short delivery from Bishoo, but Chandrika failed to hold on to the chance at point. Rahane quickly overcame the jitters with some pleasing drives on either side of the wicket off Holder. 
 
Rahane and Saha almost saw through a testing period of bowling from Holder, but at the stroke of lunch, the West Indies captain finally found success, trapping Saha in front for 47 to bag his first wicket of the series.

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