Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane hit twin fifties to stretch India’s lead to 260 runs on Day 3 of the first Test at Antigua. At stumps, the visitors were 185/3 with Kohli (51) and Rahane (53) unbeaten at the crease.
West Indies made a promising start to the day by adding 33 crucial runs to their overnight total of 189/8. Captain Jason Holder scored a gritty 39 before the Indian bowlers cleaned up their tail. Their bowlers then came back to rattle India’s top order yet again. But the Indian captain and vice-captain ensured there was no further dent in the batting order by the end of the day’s play.
Chase cuts through the openers
KL Rahul (38) and Mayank Agarwal (16) both fell to dramatic dismissals and it was Roston Chase who got the better of them. First up, he went up in appeal to trap Mayank LBW, a decision that wasn’t as plumb as it looked. Rahul at the other end didn’t think it was worth reviewing, but the replays suggested otherwise. A dejected Mayank walked back while the Windies celebrated an early breakthrough. Rahul then became a victim of his own wrongdoing as he tried to sweep a full delivery outside off. Having missed the sweep, the ball crashed into his stumps and Chase had gotten rid of both openers.
On the other hand, Kemar Roach once again posed serious questions to India’s middle-order with his prodding lines, especially Cheteshwar Pujara. India’s No.3 was struggling, and Roach went full throttle with a nip-backer that went straight through Pujara’s defence. Despite the top 3 back in the hut, India had stretched their lead to 150.
Virat Kohli-Ajinkya Rahane build India’s lead
West Indies would’ve liked the momentum on their side to continue for as long as possible, with Roach peaking at the right time. But Kohli and Rahane were adamant at the crease and did not hurry into scoring quick runs. The duo restored normalcy and brought up a 100-run partnership, one of their many such innings together. Though, it didn’t come without a few slices of luck for them, particularly Rahane who was saved on two occasions en route his fifty.
Roach almost had Rahane LBW but a review saved the batsman who has looked in great touch in both innings. Then, John Campbell dropped a catch a cover to give him another lease of life on 17. West Indies threw everything they could at the Indian pair but the frustration of not being able to break through only grew. To add to their misery, Roach came back to bowl a beautiful spell and trapped Rahane in front. This time, the umpire signalled not-out, but Holder ran out of time to review the decision. As the hosts watched another opportunity go down the drain on the big screen, both batsmen walked off with a handsome lead of 260.