| Ishant Sharma, in action, on Wednesday |
Roseau: In-form pacer Ishant Sharma struck twice as India reduced the West Indies to 64 for three at lunch, on the opening day of the third and final Test, here, on Wednesday.
Rain stopped play on the opening day of the third and final Test between India and West Indies on Wednesday. The West Indies reached 75 for three in 31.1 overs when the heavens opened up leading to a stoppage in play in the post-lunch session. At the time of interruption, Darren Bravo was batting on 22 while Shivnarine Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 17.
After Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to bowl with the hope that his seamers would get the team some quick wickets, Ishant and Praveen Kumar lived up to the skippers expectations by removing Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards.
Darren Bravo and the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul were batting on 17 and 11, respectively, when lunch was called at the Windsor Park here.
Ishant showed no after-effects of a facial injury he suffered on Tuesday during practice, returning figures of two for 23.
While Praveen gave India their first breakthrough by having Powell caught at second slip by VVS Laxman, Ishant, bowling the bouncers to good effect, sent back Barath and Edwards.
Ishant, who rattled the hosts with a 10-wicket haul in the drawn second Test, at the Kensington Oval, looked in good nick here as well.
Munaf Patel, playing his first Test of the three-match series at the expense of Abhimanyu Mithun, bowled economically, though without success.
If Praveen and Ishant began with maiden overs, Munaf, who returned to Test cricket after two years, did even better as first change, by bowling three maidens on the trot.
Earlier Powell, who was making his debut, got his first Test runs — a three off a push into covers against Ishant — didnt get to score any further as Praveen found the edge of his defensive bat with a peach of a delivery.
Barath, after being flustered with a caught-behind appeal down the legside off Ishant, edged a pull on to his stumps off the very next delivery.
Ishant picked up his third wicket of the morning when he had Edwards, another debutant, who was unlucky to be judged caught behind by Richard Kettleborough of England as the rising delivery hit his helmet, and not bat, on way to Dhoni.
The West Indies would now look to Bravo and veteran Chanderpaul to bail them out.
Bravo looked the best of all home batsmen and scored two fours — a square cut against Ishant past point and then a backfoot cover drive against Harbhajan Singh.
While Munaf is the only change in the India line-up, West Indies made two changes, with Powell and Edwards being preferred over Lendl Simmons and Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was dropped from the third Test squad.