Dravid ton puts India in control

Published: Nov 14, 2011, 17:09 IST | AFP |

Rahul Dravid cracked a brilliant 119 to put India on course for a big total on the opening day of the second Test against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday.

Rahul Dravid cracked a brilliant 119 to put India on course for a big total on the opening day of the second Test against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday.

The 38-year-old batsman hit two sixes and nine fours in his 36th Test hundred, and the fifth of the year, as the hosts reached 346-5 in their first innings at stumps after winning the toss on a good batting pitch.


Only India's Sachin Tendulkar (51), South African Jacques Kallis (40) and Australian Ricky Ponting (39) have scored more Test centuries than Dravid.

India lead 1-0 in the three-Test series following their five-wicket win in the opening match in New Delhi.

Dravid never looked in trouble in his 207-ball knock, impressing with his shot-selection during his long stay at the crease to put India in a strong position with three valuable partnerships.

He added 83 runs for the second wicket with Gautam Gambhir (65), 56 for the next with Sachin Tendulkar and 140 for the fourth wicket with Venkatsai Laxman, who was unbeaten with a solid 73 when bad light stopped play.

Dravid completed his hundred when he turned a no-ball from paceman Kemar Roach behind square-leg for a four before inside-edging part-time spinner Kraigg Brathwaite's delivery on to his stumps in the day's penultimate over.

India lost one more wicket when nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was caught behind off Roach.

Laxman, who made an unbeaten 58 in the last Test, has so far hit five fours in his second successive half-century.

Tendulkar, who needs just one hundred to complete an unprecedented 100th international century, had been batting confidently before falling for 38, pulling leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to Marlon Samuels at mid-wicket.

Dravid continued to bat comfortably against both pace and spin, lofting Bishoo over long-off and part-time spinner Samuels over long-on for sixes.

Tendulkar, who has also scored 48 hundreds in one-day internationals, looked in excellent form as he turned Fidel Edwards to fine-leg for his first four and then drove Roach through the covers for another boundary.

He survived a confident appeal for leg-before on 25 while attempting to sweep Bishoo before being dismissed by the same bowler in the afternoon session, much to the disappointment of nearly 10,000 spectators.

The West Indies struggled for success on a pitch which had little in it for the bowlers, with seamer Darren Sammy, Edwards, Bishoo, Roach and Brathwaite each taking one wicket.

Gambhir fell to a loose shot, driving an Edwards delivery straight to Adrian Barath at short cover after adding eight runs to his lunch score of 57. He hit eight fours in his 17th half-century in 43 Tests.

India got off to a solid start as Gambhir and aggressive Virender Sehwag (38) put on 66 in 12.1 overs for the opening wicket.

Sehwag played some handsome shots against the West Indies pace attack, hitting eight fours in his brisk 33-ball knock before driving Sammy straight to Barath at short mid-wicket.

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