Bright start for India in dreary conditions

Despite losing early wickets to India, Chanderpaul celebrates a Test that makes him the West Indies most capped player.

     Indian bowler Sharma (L) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Kirk Edwards [AFP]

    Persistent rain forced a premature end to the opening day of the third and final Test between India and the West Indies in Dominica on Wednesday after the tourists made a positive start.

    Ishant Sharma captured two wickets and Praveen Kumar one before lunch as India seized control early after winning the toss and sending the opposition in to bat. However, the foul weather stopped their momentum and washed out most of the day.

    Only 3.1 overs were bowled after lunch and when stumps were drawn, with the covers still on the ground, West Indies were 75 for three with Darren Bravo (22 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (17 not out) trying to rebuild the innings with an unbroken partnership of 40.

    The pair had come together in the morning session after India had ripped through the top order and reduced West Indies to 35-3 in the 17th over.

    Kumar made the initial breakthrough when he dismissed Kieran Powell cheaply then Sharma, man of the match in last week's drawn second Test in Barbados, bowled Adrian Barath for 12 and Kirk Edwards was caught behind for six.

    Old and new

    India, who lead the series 1-0 after winning the opening Test in Jamaica, made one change to the side that drew in Barbados with paceman Munaf Patel replacing Abhimanyu Mithun.

    West Indies made two changes, dropping batsmen Lendl Simmons and Ramnaresh Sarwan in favour of Powell and Edwards.

     Chanderpaul has overtaken Courtney Walsh as the West Indies most capped Test player [GALLO/GETTY] 

    While the two batsmen were making their Test debuts, Chanderpaul was making his 133rd Test appearance to become the most capped West Indian in Tests and eclipsing the previous record of 132 held by Courtney Walsh.

    The 36-year-old left hander made his Test debut in 1994 and has been a regular member of the team ever since, scoring more than 9,000 runs, including 22 centuries, at an average over 48.

    "It feels good to reach this landmark. I just want to keep doing my best in every match," Chanderpaul said in a statement.

    West Indies team manager Richie Richardson, a teammate of Chanderpaul's when he made his Test debut, paid tribute to his outstanding career.

    "When Shiv first came into the team years back you could see the desire to play for a long time. He has worked hard over the years and it is great to see him reaching this landmark," Richardson said.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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