Roston Chase closed in on his fourth Test hundred as he forged a century partnership with skipper Jason Holder to help West Indies to 295 for seven on the opening day of the second and final Test against India on Friday.
The tourists lost three wickets in the morning session and were reeling at 113 for five after lunch, a poor effort on a perfect batting strip and against an opposition rendered one bowler short following Shardul Thakur’s injury in the morning. Chase added 69 runs with Shane Dowrich and 104 more with next man Holder to arrest the slide.
The all-rounder was on 98 at stumps, a gutsy knock that contained seven boundaries and a six, with Devendra Bishoo on two at the other end.
The onus was on Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell to give the tourists a strong start after Holder unsurprisingly elected to bat on a track that looked full of runs.
With Umesh Yadav (3-83) occasionally straying down the leg side and a couple of edges by Kieran Powell running to the fence, West Indies found little to complain about in the first five overs.
It was a combination of Powell’s recklessness and Ravichandran Ashwin’s guile which led to the first dismissal.
The opener stepped out against the off-spinner, who quickly shortened his length and pitched it wide, prompting an uppish drive straight to Ravindra Jadeja at cover.
Kuldeep Yadav (3-74) sent back Kraigg Brathwaite but it was Shai Hope’s dismissal for 36 off the final delivery before the lunch break that made it India’s session.
Like in their defeat in the Rajkot series-opener, the West Indies batsmen were confounded by Kuldeep’s left-arm wrist-spin and both Shimron Hetmyer and Sunil Ambris were dismissed by well-disguised googlies.
India made good use of the review system to get rid of Dowrich for 30 after Umesh’s lbw appeal had initially been turned down.
Chase then found an able ally in Holder, who celebrated his return from injury with a composed 52 before Umesh strangled him down the leg side for a soft caught-behind dismissal in the final session.
The tourists made two changes with Holder replacing Keemo Paul and spinner Jomel Warrican replacing Sherman Lewis.
India rested Mohammed Shami to blood Thakur, who sent down 10 deliveries in his debut Test before hobbling off with a groin injury. The 26-year-old has gone for scans with his further participation in the match to be determined.