Batsmen flounder in Jamaica

Sometimes scorecards aren’t pretty things. They often don’t tell the whole story, but instead brutal truths which will be recorded forever. They can make bowlers wince and batsmen blush. The scorecard for today’s play at Jamaica did the latter.

Only three of the batsmen on show today reached 20, and only Rahul Dravid stood tall and made a half century. The Indian captain’s unbeaten 62 put India 225 ahead going into day 3 after his bowlers made light work of the West Indian batting.

After bowling India out for 200, the West Indians would fancy their chances of getting a decent lead, but they lost Chris Gayle immediately, his off stump removed by Sreesanth.

The West Indian batsmen never got into the game, only Daren Ganga managed to get himself going, before Harbhajan Singh got one to turn sharply and trap him lbw. His 40, along with Lara’s 26 were the only two scores greater than 20, as the off spin of Singh tore through the West Indian order. Singh claimed 5-13 off four and a half over as the West Indies limped to 103 all out, conceding a 97 run lead.

Eight balls into the Indian innings and they weren’t proving to be much better. Jerome Taylor removed both openers in quick succession, having Jaffer caught at slip by Morton and trapping Sehwag lbw.

This brought Dravid to the crease. “The Wall” proved much harder to get out than his colleagues. Laxman, Yuvraj, Kaif and Dhoni all failed and India lost wickets steadily to Collymore, Collins and Taylor. Although no one around him seemed to want to stay with him for any considerable length of time, he battled on until his half century.

If you read from the scorecard, with Dravid at the crease overnight and a lead which would make any succesful chase the highest score of the game, you’d think India were pretty safe. But you never really know with scorecards, do you?

India 200 all out
Rahul Dravid 81, Anil Kumble 45
Jerome Taylor 5-50, Corey Collymore 2-17

West Indies 103 all out
Daren Ganga 40, Brian Lara 26
Harbhajan Singh 5-13, Sreesanth 2-34

India 128/6
Rahul Dravid 62*, MS Dhoni 19
Jerome Taylor 3-28, Corey Collymore 2-31

India lead by 225 runs with 4 second innings wickets remaining.

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