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Windies reel under huge India total
KOLKATA (Reuters) - Vangipurappu Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni completed centuries as India's batsmen racked up a huge first innings total against West Indies on the second day of the second test at Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
The tourists then lost two quick wickets before bad light brought a premature end to the day's play to leave India firmly in the driving seat.
India, opting to bat first after winning the toss, declared their innings at 631 for seven, 3.2 overs after tea, with Laxman (176) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) at the crease.
Laxman and Dhoni (144) added 224 runs for the seventh wicket to pile on the misery for the visitors, who are down 1-0 in the three-test series.
West Indies' problems were compounded when openers Adrian Barath and Kraigg Brathwaite were dismissed before bad light brought an abrupt close, 52 minutes before schedule, with the visitors reeling at 34 for two.
Barath (1) edged paceman Umesh Yadav to Virender Sehwag at slip while Brathwaite (17), dropped earlier by substitute Virat Kohli off off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, was given out caught at short leg off the same bowler.
Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson, now the manager of the visiting team, said they needed to take a leaf out of the Indian batsmen's books to save the test match.
"You have just got to bat the way India batted. It's a very good batting wicket. It's a flat wicket and it was always going to be difficult for the bowlers," Richardson told reporters.
"It's not going to be easy. The Indian bowlers are going to put pressure on us but I believe we have the ammunition to go out there and bat for the next two days.
"Usually when you see such a big total you tend to think 'wow! It's going to be difficult.' We have to back ourselves. If two guys get stuck in and score centuries then we will able to bat ourselves into a very good position."
HAPPY HUNTING GROUND
The 37-year-old Laxman, unbeaten on 73 overnight, reached his fifth century at Eden Gardens and 17th overall with a trademark on-driven boundary off West Indies captain Darren Sammy in the first session.
"It is always a special feeling playing at this venue. Eden Gardens is a great place to play cricket, especially with all the spectators here, even though there were not many this time," Laxman said.
"It is a good test wicket like it should be in India. It may be difficult to play spin on the last day of the game. If we bowl in the right areas, we should win the game."
Dhoni was the more attacking of the duo and got to his fifth test hundred with a single, 21 months since he recorded his last ton at the same venue.
The dynamic India captain, known for his powerful hitting, blasted 10 fours and five sixes during his 175-ball stay at the wicket to take India to their second highest total against West Indies.
Dhoni was twice caught behind in the morning session off paceman Kemar Roach but on both occasions the deliveries were ruled no-balls.
He edged Roach in the same fashion for the third time to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh after tea but this time the delivery was legitimate.
Resuming on the overnight 346-5 Laxman negotiated the second new ball, three deliveries old from the first day, with Yuvraj Singh to add 50 for the sixth wicket partnership.
Left-hander Yuvraj looked uncomfortable during his 35-ball stay at the crease and was peppered with short-pitched deliveries by the West Indies pacemen, a bouncer from Fidel Edwards hitting him on his shoulder.
Yuvraj was finally out leg before wicket to Sammy for 25 after a few close shaves, bringing Dhoni to the crease.
The teams will play the third and final test in Mumbai from Nov. 22.
(Editing by Alastair Himmer/Mark Meadows; To query or comment on this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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