India Tightens Grip on Second Test
Sun, Apr 21, '02
(Day Two Recap from BBC Sports)
India have taken control of the second Test at Port of Spain
despite losing talisman Sachin Tendulkar for a duck on the third
The tourists' saviours were captain Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, who shared an unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 109.
Laxman will restart on Monday on 60 and Ganguly on 48 with India
on 165 for four in their second innings.
That translates to an advantage of 259 heading into the last two days after securing a first-innings lead of 94.
The West Indies team, who resumed on Sunday morning on 197 for six, were bowled out earlier in the day for 245 in reply to India's 339.
Laxman had joined Ganguly with the Indians in crisis at 56 for four after the unfortunate dismissal of Tendulkar.
The West Indies sensed a way back into the match after grabbing three wickets for two runs in 14 deliveries just before tea.
But Laxman's third successive half century of the series and Ganguly's determined effort tilted the balance firmly toward the away team.
Right-hander Laxman hit seven boundaries off 125 balls in three hours.
Ganguly, with the responsibility of authority on his shoulders, carefully moving to his 48 in 190 minutes. The left-hander from Calcutta hit just three fours off 142 balls.
Earlier, India's opening batsmen again failed to give them a solid platform.
Despite conceding a lead of 96, the West Indies burst back into contention late in the middle session at the Queen's Park Oval when reducing India to 77-4 in their second innings.
Adam Sanford took two of the wickets to fall, including the critical one of Tendulkar for a four-ball duck as 54-1 soon became 56-4.
Shiv Sundar Das was trapped early on by Merv Dillon for nought, but Rahul Dravid looked in awesome touch as he drove and pulled the seamers handsomely.
But with the second-wicket stand worth 48, Dravid lost partner Sanjay Bangar when the number three was caught in the slips by Carl Hooper off Sanford.
Moments later Dravid departed, caught off a glove down the leg side by Ajay Ratra off Cameron Cuffy for 36.
And after Tendulkar was out, Sourav Ganguly survived a couple of scares before India got to tea.
The West Indies had failed to get close to India's first innings score of 339.
Hooper hit a dogged 50, but was not helped by losing partner Dillon early in the day, and eventually he had to hit out.
Dillon was trapped half-forward as left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra removed him lbw for nine, leaving Hooper to nurse the remainder of a fragile-looking tail.
A suicidal run out spelt the end of Marlon Black for just six, before Hooper was caught at extra cover.
Harbhajan Singh wrapped up the innings when Sanford was brilliantly caught in the deep by Tendulkar.
* SOURCE: BBC Sports Online.
Tendulkar Fails But India Takes Control
"That wobble became a full-fledged quake when Tendulkar became the victim of yet another poor umpiring decision. He shuffled across to Sanford and was struck on the flap of the pad in front of his stumps. The ball would have cleared them by at least six inches but umpire de Silva's finger went up in a flash (56 for 4). Poor decision, but the crowd went wild with West Indies right back at the races."
Laxman, Ganguly Rally India
"A tiring West Indies attack lost much of its sharpness in the closing session, with all of the four fast bowlers looking more like run-containing than wicket-taking bowlers."
Umpires Giving Critics Ammunition
"They say cricket is a great leveler. One hopes that is the truth. No one wants a series to be marred by too many rain breaks or umpiring decisions. After all, what could be more exciting than a close finish to this Test match?"