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Sharma shines

Ezra Stuart

Sharma shines

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FAST BOWLER Ishant Sharma bowled India to a 21-run first innings lead over the West Indies on a rain-ruined third day of the second Digicel cricket Test at Kensington Oval here today.
The 22-year-old Sharma returned the impressive career-best figures of six for 55 in 21.5 overs as the West Indies, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, folded for 190, replying to India’s first innings total of 201.
Middle order batsman Marlon Samuels was left high and dry on a carefully compiled, yet classy 78 not out, which was embellished with eight fours off 172 balls in a shade over four hours at the crease.
By the time the umpires ended play because of fading light on a day in which only 42 overs were bowled because of intermittent rain, India were 23 without loss in their second innings, an overall lead of 44 runs.
Resuming from 98 for five overnight after play started an hour late because of heavy morning rain, Samuels and the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul extended their sixth-wicket partnership to 77 runs.
But just seven minutes before lunch, Chanderpaul attempted to pull a waist-high ball from rookie pacer Abhimanyu Mithun and dragged it back onto his stumps, ending a patient knock of 37 which spanned 117 balls and 171 minutes.
The West Indies went to lunch on 138 for six and on resumption, wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh made just two, edging off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to Rahul Dravid at slip.
Samuels reached his 50 during a 43-run eighth-wicket partnership with his captain Darren Sammy, who was out trapped leg before for 15 by Sharma as he became the fifth youngest bowler to reach 100 Test wickets.
Rain again sent the players off the field with the Windies on 189 for eight but once play restarted, Sharma quickly polished off the West Indian tail with consecutive balls, removing pacers Ravi Rampaul and Fidel Edwards. Sharma now has 102 wickets in 33 Tests.