Only rain stands between India and certain victory

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© Twitter - West Indies

Only rain stands between India and certain victory

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Arun S Kaimal

08/03/2016

India knocked off four wickets from the West Indies' line-up in the short 16 overs that the rain Gods allowed play to happen on day 4 of the second Test. Still 256 runs ahead and better weather forecast predicted for the day, India would look to close out business to earn a second win in the series.

Brief scores : West Indies 196 and 48 for 4 (K Brathwaite 23, Shami 2-25) trail India 500 for 9 decl. by 256 runs

Tropical storm Earl, which has been threatening to spoil India's party, arrived in full force yesterday as it washed out all but 15.5 overs of play yesterday. Bad news : Hurricane warnings have been issued. Good news (at least for the Test fans) : The storm has been predicted to move towards Mexico, Belize, and Honduras.

Earlier, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma started with the new ball under heavily overcast conditions. West Indies opener Rajendra Chandrika, who has been having a miserable time in the middle, once again decided to beat the clock with a lightning return to the pavilion. On his fourth ball, Chandrika tried to leave the ball alone. But Shami's short delivery hit his elbow before being redirected towards the stumps. Chandrika was gone for 1 run as his average took another beating to go to 16.75 off 4 Tests – not a respectable one for an opener.

Kraigg Brathwaite and Dwayne Bravo held on for almost long enough - until the 13th over. Amit Mishra had been handed the ball by Kohli ahead of Ashwin, and the leggie got the breakthrough. On the last ball, he pitched it short, but Brathwaite was off balance as he attempted a pull, when he should not have. The edge was safely taken at midwicket. This was not Test cricket – there was no buildup of pressure, no manoeuvering or trap set, and it was not going to end here!

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Marlon Samuels came next, lasted five balls, made zero runs, but at least was done in by a good ball. Shami's incisive delivery just short of length saw Samuels step to defend it, but sneaked its way through to clip the top of the off-stump.

One more short ball did it for Bravo, who was struggling despite the three fours in his 20 so far. Shami's bouncer saw Bravo fending at it desperately, and the edge was comfortably taken at third slip before play was called off for the day.

A short but eventful day for India, but West Indies must be cursing themselves for their batsmen's lack of application after captain Jason Holder's defiant attempts to slow down the match to a draw the previous day. Only rains stand between India and a second win in two Tests, and with better weather predicted, the day should yield just that.

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