Windies respond strongly to twin tons


The third Test between West Indies and India is intriguingly poised after the hosts responded superbly to centuries from Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha on day two in St Lucia.

Ashwin and Saha extended their restorative sixth-wicket partnership to 213 on Wednesday, taking their individual scores to 118 and 104 respectively.

However, the departure of Saha - shortly after India's wicketkeeper had brought up his maiden international hundred - triggered a dramatic collapse, which saw Virat Kohli's men slump from 339-5 to 353 all out, Miguel Cummins taking 3-54.

The Windies then made solid progress in reply, reaching 107-1 from 47 overs as runs generally came slowly for the second day in succession.

Saha was able to gradually raise his tempo throughout the morning session after resuming with 46 of India's 234-5.

In contrast, Ashwin was content to retain a conservative approach prior to lunch, taken with the all-rounder on 99 and Saha up to 93.

Both batsmen made it to three figures early in the afternoon, putting India on course for a substantial total after they had been in trouble at 19-2 and 126-5 on day one.

Yet Saha was then caught behind off Alzarri Joseph (3-69) and the remaining wickets came in a hurry for the Windies - Cummins picking up three wickets in the space of 10 individual deliveries, including the key scalp of Ashwin, held at backward point.

India were duly made to toil in the field as Kraigg Brathwaite and Leon Johnson shared a patient opening stand of 59.

Johnson (23) was dropped at second slip by KL Rahul on four, but the fielder eventually made amends by producing a direct hit at the non-striker's end to run the opener out.

That was to be India's only breakthrough, however, as Brathwaite (53 from 143 balls) and Darren Bravo (18 off 66) dug in until stumps.