UPDATE 3-Cricket-Bowlers put India and Windies test on knife edge

Mon Nov 7, 2011 1:36pm GMT

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(Updates with details and quotes)

* West Indies stretch lead to 116 runs with 8 wickets in hand

* Sehwag confident of chasing down target

By Amlan Chakraborty

NEW DELHI, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Seventeen wickets fell during a riveting second day's play but neither West Indies nor India could claim the upper hand in the see-saw first test at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Monday.

Pragyan Ojha (6-72), who claimed the first and the last wickets of the day, and his spin team mate Ravichandran Ashwin (3-81) mowed down the West Indies bottom half for 48 runs in 17.2 overs to restrict their first innings to 304.

In reply, openers Virender Sehwag (55) and Gautam Gambhir (41) batted as if they were in a limited-overs game, adding 89 runs in 12.3 overs before the Indian line-up, with the glorious exception of Rahul Dravid (54), folded for 209.

West Indies came out to bat for the second time with a 95-run first-innings lead but lost both their openers Kieran Powell (0) and Kraigg Brathwaite (2) to finish the second day at 21-2, having lost much of their advantage.

Kirk Edwards (15) was batting with Fidel Edwards (0) when stumps were drawn with West Indies having stretched their overall lead to 116 runs.

"Looking at the wicket, we won't take anything for granted just because we bowled them out for less than 250. The plan is to score as many runs as possible," West Indies captain Darren Sammy said. "We would like to put 350-plus on the board."

Ojha's double strikes in the morning session triggered West Indies batting collapse as the visitors, resuming on 256 for five, exhibited their spin frailty with nine of them falling to the Indian slow bowlers.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (118) added seven runs to his overnight score before falling to one of the four leg-before decisions of the morning session.

Chanderpaul's 196-ball knock included seven fours and two sixes.

EVENTFUL START

Sehwag and Gambhir fuelled India's strong reply with scintillating batting during an eventful start.

Gambhir survived numerous edges and was dropped in the slip off Fidel Edwards who endured further frustration when he clean-bowled Sehwag with a delivery that was adjudged a no-ball.

Gambhir eventually ran out of luck and his run-a-ball knock was cut short when Sehwag's straight drive brushed bowler Sammy's fingers and hit the stumps at the non-striker's end with the left-hander out of the crease.

Sehwag took 36 balls to complete his 28th test half-century but was stumped off Devendra Bishoo while trying to guide a ball to the fine-leg area.

Sachin Tendulkar (7) walked out to a rousing welcome from the sparse crowd who were hoping to see his long-awaited 100th international century but Fidel Edwards removed him leg before to frustrate them.

Sammy compounded India's crisis with a three-wicket burst, removing Yuvraj Singh (23) and the scoreless duo of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ashwin.

Dravid waged a lone battle in the tailenders' company before a fluffed pull shot cut short his stay and Ravi Rampaul removed the last two Indian wickets with successive deliveries.

"I would say the match is now evenly poised," Sehwag told reporters. "Our target will be to bowl them out as early as possible and then chase whatever is the target."

(Editing by Clare Fallon; To comment on this story: email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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