India on course to sweep series after Siraj wrecks Windies

Port of Spain, (Reuters):  India remained on course to complete a 2-0 series sweep after setting West Indies a daunting 365-run target and then reducing them to 76-2 on day four of the second test on Sunday.

Tagenarine Chanderpaul (24) and Jermaine Blackwood (20) will resume on Monday with West Indies still 289 behind and needing an extraordinary batting effort on a fifth day track to escape defeat.

Earlier, leading an inexperienced Indian pace attack, Mohammed Siraj claimed 5-60 to help bowl out West Indies for 255 after the hosts resumed their first innings on 229-5 at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.

West Indies lost their last five wickets for only 26 runs with Siraj wreaking havoc with the ball.

Possessing a handy lead of 183, Indian batters came out all guns blazing in their second innings scoring as if playing a T20 match.

Skipper Rohit Sharma (57) raced to a 35-ball fifty as he and Yashasvi Jaiswal (38) took India to the 100-mark in 12.2 overs.

Promoted to number four, Ishan Kishan struck an unbeaten 52 off 34 balls, his maiden test fifty in his second test, as India racked up 181-2 in 24 overs before declaring their innings.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin further cemented India’s position on a rain-marred with two late blows.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite made 28 before top edging Ashwin at short fine leg, while Kirk McKenzie was trapped lbw for a duck.

For India, Siraj particularly stood out for the way he led the attack in the absence of a recovering Jasprit Bumrah and a rested Mohammed Shami.

“I relish responsibilities,” the 29-year-old told reporters.

“To step in on the field with a responsibility on my shoulders gives me extra motivation and it is challenging as well and I like challenges.”

“It was hot and humid and because of the rain, we were going on and off the field. It’s difficult for a fast bowler to keep yourself charged-up.”

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