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Dravids grit gives India control of opening Test

Kingston: India were firmly in control of the first cricket Test against the West Indies after former captain Rahul Dravid`s resolute hundred helped them set the hosts a stiff victory target of 326 on the third day of the match here.

West Indies made a jittery start to the chase, reaching 131 for three at stumps yesterday.

An intriguing battle is on cards as the match is expected to be decided on fourth day itself with West Indies requiring 195 runs and visitors needing another seven wickets.

Darren Bravo (30 batting) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (24 batting) added 51 runs for the undefeated fourth wicket stand after the Caribbeans were reduced to 80 for three.

The West Indian openers Adrian Barath (38, 36 balls, 4×4, 2×6) and Lendl Simmons (27, 41 balls, 3×4, 1×6) started put together a whirlwind 62 runs in 10.5 overs.

Barath, in particular, was in Twenty20 mode as he hit Ishant Sharma for a couple of sixes and four in one over before Praveen Kumar made him flash at an away going delivery to be caught by Suresh Raina at slips.

Next man in, Ramnaresh Sarwan (0) was snapped up brilliantly by Virat Kohli off Ishant Sharma. Simmons was beaten by a delivery that held its line to hit the off-stump.

The day, however, belonged to Dravid, who notched up his 32nd career hundred.

His effort of 112 (274 balls, 10×4, 1×6) had its worth weight in gold as the battle-hardened veteran brought up one of his most satisfying three-figure marks on a track where batting was difficult.

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