West Indies Grind Out 3rd Day in Hope of Draw with India

West Indies' capitan Kraigg Brathwaite plays a shot against India on day three of their second cricket Test match at Queen's Park in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Saturday, July 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan).

Source: Loop Caribbean
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — West Indies stubbornly fought to avoid the follow-on against India on a snail-paced third day of the second test at Queen’s Park Oval on Saturday.

After scoring at barely two runs per over, West Indies doggedly reached stumps on 229-4 in reply to India’s 438. West Indies need only 10 more runs to make India bat again.

The first test in Dominica ended in three days and the West Indies were embarrassed by a heavy innings defeat. In Trinidad, the home side has dug in to grind out a draw against a team it hasn’t beaten in 21 years.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite has set the tone. The opener started on Friday and not until after lunch on Saturday did he reach his 50 off 170 balls, the second slowest of his career.

West Indies’ determination to take their time, block, or leave, netted only 143 runs in 67 overs, 33 of which were maidens. Two hours were lost to rain delays and play ended 20 minutes early because of bad light.

India’s spinners have remarkable figures. Ravichandran Ashwin, who hauled in 12 wickets in Dominica, has 1-61 from 33 overs. Ravindra Jadeja has 2-37 from 25 overs.

Brathwaite started the day with new cap Kirk McKenzie, who took three boundaries off Jaydev Unadkat and gave medium-pacer Mukesh Kumar his maiden test wicket after taking a cut on 32.

As soon as McKenzie was out, rain arrived to delay the game for an hour.

After lunch, Kumar was pulled over fine leg for a six by Brathwaite, then the captain was out for 75 after facing 235 deliveries. He was drawn forward by Ashwin, whose ball turned in and took out the middle stump.

After a period in which West Indies scored 20 runs in 15 overs, Alick Athanaze hit successive fours off Ashwin and he and Jermaine Blackwood survived India reviews.

Blackwood, on 20 from 92 balls, was out straight after tea, deflecting Jadeja to Ajinkya Rahane, who made a one-handed catch in the cordon.

Joshua Da Silva was bowled on 10 trying to drive Mohammed Siraj, right before another rain delay of nearly an hour.

India finally took the new ball in the 103rd over, but Athanaze and Jason Holder remained untroubled to stumps. Athanaze was on 37 from 111 balls and Holder on 11.

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