NORTH SOUND: India stretched their lead in the afternoon session despite continuing concerns about the consistency of their top-order batting in getting to 98 for three in the second innings at tea on the third day of the first Test against the West Indies on Saturday.
Having dismissed the home side for 222 in the morning period to take a first innings lead of 75 runs, Indian captain Virat Kohli and first innings topscorer Ajinkya Rahane will resume after the break with the visitors seeking to work themselves into an increasingly dominant position.
Roston Chase, whose score of 48 on Friday, was the best effort in the West Indies' first turn at the crease, showed his worth with his off-spin after lunch on day three in removing openers Mayank Agarwal and K.L. Rahul while Kemar Roach produced a superb delivery to breach the defence of Cheteshwar Pujara.
Agarwal was ruled leg-before although television replays showed the decision would have been overturned has it been challenged by the batsman.
There was no possibility of a reprieve though for Rahul, bowled round his legs for 38 when he missed an attempted sweep.
Pujara started brightly in getting to 25 but Roach claimed him for the second time in the match.
Whereas in the first innings he edged to the wicketkeeper, this time he was bowled between bat and pad to give the fast bowler his fifth wicket of the match.
India had spent most of the morning session labouring to claim the final two wickets of the home side's first innings as West Indies captain Jason Holder found sturdy support from Miguel Cummins in putting on 41 for the ninth wicket.
Having slipped from 174 for five to 179 for eight late on day two courtesy of the persistent Ishant Sharma, Kohli and company would have been expecting to finish the job swiftly at the start of play.
However, they did not count on the defiance of Cummins, who hung around with Holder for an hour-and-a-half without getting off the mark.
When the partnership was finally broken -– Holder caught behind off Mohammed Shami for 39 -– Cummins saw last man Shannon Gabriel pick up two singles immediately.
Attempting to get his first runs though, the fast-medium bowler, who bats left-handed, was bowled having a swing at Ravindra Jadeja to give the left-arm spinner his second wicket of the innings.
In facing 45 deliveries for his defiant duck, and spending 95 minutes in the middle without getting off the mark, Cummins goes into the record books for the second longest innings in Test cricket for someone being dismissed without scoring.
That dubious record is still held by New Zealander Geoff Allott, who survived for 101 minutes before falling for nought against South Africa in Auckland in 1999.