West Indies 76-2 after India set daunting target of 365 in 2nd test

July 25, 2023 in Sports

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — West Indies batted twice Sunday with fast-scoring India declaring in-between to set up a final-day showdown — weather permitting — in their second test at Queen’s Park Oval.

West Indies proceeded carefully to reach stumps on the fourth day at 76-2 in 32 overs. With eight second-innings wickets left, the hosts need another 289 runs as they chase an imposing target of 365.

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who hauled in 12 wickets in the one-sided Dominica opener, is looking dangerous again with 2-33 after going for 1-61 in the first innings.

West Indies opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul (24 not out) and Jermaine Blackwood (20 not out) are at the crease.

There was only three overs in the afternoon because of the weather and with rain forecast for Monday, India likely hoped to close in on another win and sweep the two-match series but West Indies proved hard to remove, with Chanderpaul having already faced 98 balls.

Earlier, West Indies resumed Sunday at 229-5 in their first innings, still 10 runs away from avoiding the follow-on. They avoided the risk of having to immediately bat again but was soon dismissed for 255. Mohammed Siraj finished with bowling figures of 5-60, including the wicket of Jason Holder (15).

India were then in a hurry and scored at 7.5 runs an over — more than three times quicker than West Indies’ second-innings reply so far — to reach 181-2 declared in 24 overs in their second innings.

Captain Rohit Sharma (57 runs in 44 deliveries) hit three sixes and five fours before being caught by Alzarri Joseph at fine leg off pacer Shannon Gabriel (1-33) after surviving earlier dropped catches.

Spinner Jomel Warrican (1-36) claimed the only other Indian wicket with Yashasvi Jaiswal caught behind. Jaiswal and Sharma fell two runs short of a 100-run opening partnership, rapidly scoring 98 in just under 12 overs.

Ishan Kishan smashed a 34-ball 52 not out.

The first test in Dominica ended in three days and the West Indies were embarrassed by a heavy innings defeat. In Trinidad, the home side has dug in against a team it hasn’t beaten in 21 years but India still holds the advantage.

India scored 438 in their first innings after Virat Kohli hit his first overseas century since 2018. Kohli’s 121 was his 29th test century.

After the two tests, West Indies and India play each other in three one-day internationals — starting in Bridgetown on Thursday — and five Twenty20 games.