India dominated the second day of the first Test against West Indies on Tuesday to seize the momentum in the series opener at Sabina Park.
Fast bowler Praveen Kumar captured three wickets in a devastating spell on his Test debut as India dismissed West Indies for just 173 to snatch a 73-run first innings lead.
Then the tourists, who had managed 246 in their first knock, battled their way to 91-3 by stumps for an overall lead of 164 with seven wickets in hand.
Murali Vijay and VVS Laxman both made second innings ducks and opener Abhinav Mukund fell for 25, but Rahul Dravid kept the scoreboard ticking along with an unbeaten 45 while Virat Kohli was not out 14 at the close.
Kumar removed Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo and Brendan Nash in 14 deliveries just before lunch to trigger a West Indian batting collapse after the home side had resumed in a strong position at 34-1 in reply to India’s modest first day total.
Barath top scored with a patient 64 off 122 balls, while wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh chipped in with 27 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul made a cautious 23, but none of the other West Indian batsmen made it to 20.
Kumar finished with 3-38 from 18 overs, while fellow paceman Ishant Sharma bagged 3-29. India’s spinners, Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh, claimed two wickets each on a slow pitch starting to turn.
After making a bright start on the first day, West Indies made a bad beginning to the second day when Ishmar trapped Ramnaresh Sarwan LBW for three in the second over.
Barath, who hit nine boundaries and a six, combined with Bravo to steady the innings with a 56-run partnership for the third wicket before both batsmen were caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Kumar.
The 24-year-old paceman then claimed a third scalp when Suresh Raina held a sharp catch at third slip to get rid of Nash as the home side limped to lunch at 119-5.
Chanderpaul and Baugh gave West Indies a brief glimmer of hope with a sixth wicket stand of 45, but both fell to Harbhajan as the Indian spinners polished off the last five wickets for just 26 runs.
India suffered an early setback in their second innings when Vijay was trapped LBW by Ravi Rampaul in the second over, but Mukund and Dravid restored calm with a 56-run stand in a low-scoring match.