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WI vs India – close of play

EZRA STUART in Dominica

WI vs India – close of play

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HANDICAPPED by the illness of strike bowler Ravi Rampaul, the West Indies endured a hard toil to keep afloat against India in the third and final Digicel cricket Test at Windsor Park here Friday.After grabbing two early wickets and later leaving the Indian innings at the crossroads on 172 for five, India seized the initiative through an unbeaten 65 by captain Mahendra Dhoni.Dhoni, who hit three fours off 109 balls steered India to 308 for six at the close of the third day’s play, replying to the Windies’ modest first innings total of 204 for a lead of 104 runs. He fittingly past 3 000 Test runs in his 57th match.India’s total was enhanced by a maiden Test half-century from opener Abhinav Mukund (62) and the third half-centuries of the series by both VVS Laxman (56) and Suresh Raina (50) against a depleted West Indies’ bowling attack.The West Indies jolted India with two early wickets, including the key scalp of Rahul Dravid for just five after play started promptly at 9:30 a.m. with India resuming from eight without loss overnight.Fast bowler Fidel Edwards, who struck in the day’s third over, having opener Murali Vijay caught behind for five and skipper Darren Sammy, who again accounted for Dravid, breaching his defensive prod with a sharp inswinger, which cut back between bat and pad.Sammy and Edwards have both taken two wickets for 48 and 80 runs respectively to lead the Windies’ bowling.Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit arrived at the Stadium, which is hosting its first Test match during the extended 150-minute morning session on a day in which there were no interruptions for rain and India scored exactly 300 runs off 94 overs.