Cricket-Ashwin double pegs back Windies

Reuters

Tue, 22 Nov 10:06:00 2011

* Windies openers add 137 for first wicket

* Visitors hoping to avoid 3-0 whitewash (updates at tea)

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck twice before tea to slow down West Indies' progress after half-centuries from openers Adrian Barath and Kraigg Brathwaite had given the visitors a strong start to the third test on Tuesday.

Brathwaite (68) and Barath (62) added 137 runs for the first wicket after captain Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to make the most of the easy-paced Wankhede Stadium pitch in the hope of avoiding a 3-0 series whitewash.

Ashwin found enough turn to account for both right-handed opening batsmen as West Indies reached the interval on 161 for two wickets with Kirk Edwards (13) and Darren Bravo (4) at the crease.

Barath had looked solid in completing a second consecutive half-century after his 62 in the second innings in Kolkata, but departed when he edged Ashwin onto his pads for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to complete an easy catch behind the stumps.

Brathwaite, who hit eight fours, was less assured against the spinners and was dropped on 57 by Vangipurappu Laxman off Ashwin at backward short leg.

However, the 18-year-old was dismissed in similar fashion to his fellow opener, clipping an Ashwin delivery off his pads that went straight to Virat Kohli at short leg.

India's pace bowlers Ishant Sharma and debutant Varun Aaron failed to extract much movement in the morning, prompting Dhoni to introduce left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha as early as the ninth over.

Ojha and Ashwin, however, initially proved ineffective against the dogged approach of the openers, who frustrated the Indian attack for more than three-and-a-half hours before the hosts broke through.

West Indies were earlier dealt a blow when key batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul failed to recover from a calf injury and was replaced by Kieran Powell.

Pace bowler Kemar Roach was also ruled out due to a stomach bug, making way for the return of Ravi Rampaul, who missed the second test in Kolkata with an upset stomach.

India brought in right-handed batsman Virat Kohli for Yuvraj Singh, who was dropped after the second test, while paceman Aaron made his debut in place of Umesh Yadav.

 

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