A century on Test debut from Kirk Edwards defied India’s push for victory in the third Test as the West Indies went to stumps on day four with a lead of 81 runs.
Edwards’ confident 110 and a typically dogged knock from Shivnarine Chanderpaul rescued the West Indies from the shaky position of 40 for three, with their 161-run partnership dominating the home side’s score as they reached 224 for six at the close of play.
Harbhajan removed both Edwards and Marlon Samuels in the same over in the final hour of play – both trapped lbw – and Praveen Kumar dismissed Carlton Baugh in the final over, but the debutant had at least kept the West Indies in the match when another limp effort with the bat seemed a certainty.
India’s opening bowlers had each claimed a scalp, with Kieran Powell caught at third slip off the bowling of Ishant Sharma, and Adrian Barath guiding Praveen Kumar straight to fourth slip.
Both batsmen displayed poor foot movement in the process of their dismissals, but Edwards and Bravo looked steadier as they consolidated, before Bravo looked to climb into the bad balls as the partnership wore on.
However the left-hander was out tamely after the tea break as he took on a Harbhajan delivery and found deep mid-off to leave the West indies in trouble at 40 for three.
Edwards always looked steady and maintained a positive approach to his batting, taking 87 balls for his first fifty and 85 for the second. Indeed the only stroke of luck he needed was when he went to three figures following a terrible mix-up with Chanderpaul, in which he would have been run out for 99 were it not for an errant throw from the fielder.
In contrast Chanderpaul was his usual obstinate self, and at one point went for 30 deliveries without adding to his total. His first boundary came after a staggering 114 balls, and he survived a dropped catch in the last over before tea when he was put down by Rahul Dravid at slip off the bowling of Harbhajan.
However he did go through the gears a bit as the third session wore on and the bowlers became tired, and finished the day unbeaten on 73 from 201 deliveries, with Darren Sammy as his companion after Baugh was caught at cover just three balls from stumps.
Earlier Fidel Edwards’ second five-wicket haul in as many Tests had limited the damage as India were bowled out for 347 – a first-innings lead of 143 – as they lost their last four wickets for 39 runs.
Edwards struck with just the second ball of the day to have Harbhajan Singh caught off a top edge, and also used the short ball to get rid of Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 74.
Dhoni had added a handy 31 in good time with Praveen Kumar (23) as India looked to move the game along at a good pace, but was puched in the deep by Devendra Bishoo.
Bishoo then had Kumar caught at point before Edwards finished the innings off by snaring the wicket of Ishant Sharma.
That gave Edwards figures of 5 for 103 from 28.2 overs – a fine effort given that he had bowled without the support of Ravi Rampaul, who was taken ill on the second evening. Cricket365