|India’s Rahul Dravid enjoys his fifth Test hundred of the year at Eden Gardens against the West Indies [AFP]|
Rahul Dravid made the most of superb batting conditions at Eden Gardens to post his 36th Test hundred and put India in charge after the first day of the second Test against West Indies on Monday.
The hosts, after opting to bat first, were 346 for five at the close with Vangipurappu Laxman 73 not out after the umpires decided to suspend play due to bad light with 2.3 overs left in the day.
Dravid (119), rock solid in defence as usual, brought up his fifth Test hundred of the year with a flicked boundary to square leg off paceman Kemar Roach to a standing ovation from the sparse crowd.
He was ready to wait for the loose deliveries and hit nine fours and two sixes during his 207-ball stay before he chopped on part-time spinner Kraigg Brathwaite to gift the 18-year-old his first Test wicket in the penultimate over of the day.
Dravid’s first six off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo came after a gap of 101 balls from his previous boundary and the
second six off Marlon Samuels came after he had got past his century.
The 38-year old Dravid added 140 runs for the fourth wicket with Laxman, which put India on course for a big first innings total.
Tendulkar still waiting
Laxman also looked in supreme touch and scored at will against the West Indies spinners with wristy flicks and drives
to bring up his 56th half-century in Tests.
India earlier lost the wickets of Gautam Gambhir (65) and Sachin Tendulkar (38), whose wait for his 100th international century goes on, in the afternoon session after opener Virender Sehwag (38) fell in the morning.
Sehwag, hit by an Edwards bouncer on the back of his helmet in the third over, took a particular liking to Darren Sammy’s medium pace bowling, scoring six out of his eight boundaries against the West Indies captain.
|West Indies teammates congratulate Kraigg Brathwaite for taking wicket of Rahul Dravid [AFP]|
However, Sammy had the last laugh when he lured Sehwag into a mistimed drive straight into the hands of Barath at short mid-wicket after the batsman had compiled a breezy 38 off 33 deliveries.
Gambhir and Dravid added 83 for the second wicket before the left-handed opener drove uppishly to Adrian Barath at short cover off paceman Fidel Edwards.
Gambhir hit eight boundaries during his knock which included some fluent cover drives against the pacemen and nimble footwork against the spinners.
Tendulkar, who survived a close lbw appeal on 25 against leg-spinner Bishoo, mistimed a pull against the same bowler and was caught at mid-wicket by Samuels, much to the disappointment of the smattering of fans.
The teams will play the third and final Test in Mumbai from November 22. India won the first Test in Delhi.