NORTH SOUND, Antigua and Barbuda, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 23th july, 2016) - India's perseverance paid off with two wickets in the last 45 minutes of the morning session as West Indies were pegged back to 90 for three, replying to the visitors' first innings total of 566 for eight declared at lunch on the third day of the first Test on Saturday. Opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite has held frim through the two hours of play for an unbeaten 46 off 141 deliveries.
He resumes in the afternoon session in partnership with the West Indies' most experienced player, Marlon Samuels. Samuels came to the crease in the last over before the interval as Mohammed Shami claimed his second wicket of the innings, prising out Darren Bravo for just 11 when the left-hander edged a lifting delivery through to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. Saha has featured in all three dismissals so far as he also effected the stumping of Devendra Bishoo for 12 off leg-spinner Amit Mishra after the nightwatchman had frustrated the Indians for 75 minutes from the start of play alongside the obdurate Brathwaite.
Having exercised impressive discipline to defy the efforts of all five frontline bowlers as Virat Kohli rang the changes in pursuit of a breakthrough, Bishoo missed an attempted sweep at Mishra and was found just short of his ground by Saha's swift and efficient glovework. Despite a pitch offering very little assistance to the bowlers, West Indies will require Brathwaite and Samuels to produce a big effort given the well-established vulnerability of their batting order. Their first target is to get to 367 to avoid the possibility of the follow-on. Despite being voted as the Cricketer of the Year at the annual West Indies cricket Board/Players Association awards that preceded the match, Samuels is under even greater pressure to deliver in the aftermath of two poor series in Sri Lanka and Australia when he failed to get past 20 in the five matches.