KINGSTON, JAMAICA: Ajinkya Rahane completed a seventh Test century and Roston Chase claimed his first five-wicket innings haul as India declared their first innings at 500 for nine in reply to the West Indies total of 196 on the rain-interrupted third day of the second Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Monday.
Persistent showers prevented any play after tea and more rain is forecast on the fourth day with the West Indies facing a massive deficit of 304 runs at the start of their second innings.
India’s resolute batting performance extended through two sessions of play on day three to put the tourists in complete command and on course for victory and a 2-0 lead in the four-match series barring protracted intervention by the elements over the remaining two days of the match.
Indian captain Virat Kohli’s declaration came at the fall of the ninth wicket, when Umesh Yadav miscued a swing at Chase for West Indies captain Jason Holder to take the catch at midwicket and give the 24-year-old innings figures of five for 121 off 36.1 overs in just his second Test match.
Just the day before Chase commented on the West Indies selectors advising him to work on his bowling even though he was selected primarily as a middle-order batsman. He had also bowled extensively in the first Test in Antigua, delivering 34 overs for 102 runs without taking a wicket in India’s only innings at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
In contrast, premier spinner Devendra Bishoo claimed one wicket for 107 off 35 overs and will be under pressure to retain his place in the team for the remainder of the four-match series.
Rahane had survived a searching examination from Holder and benefited from a dropped chance on 65 off Bishoo in the morning session under clear skies and blistering sunshine. His sixth-wicket partnership with Wriddhiman Saha reached 98 as 67 runs were added in the two hours’ play before the wicketkeeper-batsman fell leg-before to Holder for 47 on the stroke of lunch.
That success was no more than the West Indies captain deserved for an excellent nine-over spell during which Rahane survived a succession of leg-before appeals and struggled to cope with the probing accuracy of the fast-medium bowler.
As the clouds rolled in and wickets fell at the other end after lunch, the 28-year-old remained focussed on gradually extending his side’s first innings advantage while also keeping an eye on the personal milestone, which he duly achieved via an outside edge off Chase for his 13th four.
In a session twice interrupted by rain, Chase dismissed Amit Mishra and Mohammed Shami off successive balls. Yadav prevented the hat-trick, but with Rahane continuing to play cautiously, the tailender heaved four boundaries in an innings of 19 before another attempted big hit gave the bowler his fifth victim and prompted the declaration.
Rahane’s unbeaten 108 occupied just over five hours in which he faced 237 balls, striking 13 fours and three sixes.