India on top as West Indies runs into ~~The Wall~~
Published: Thursday, October 10, 2002, 23:58 [IST]
Scorecard of Test 1 Day 2
Dravid holds innings firm, India 401/5 at tea
Mumbai: Rahul Dravid achieved a rare feat when he became the fourth batsman in the world to hit four centuries in successive innings as India tightened the screws on the West Indies in the first Test on Thursday. The 29-year-old, nicknamed 'The Wall' for his consistently solid batting, scored 100 to help India post 457 in its first innings on the second day at the Wankhede Stadium. The West Indies faltered in reply as it lost openers Chris Gayle (7) and Wavell Hinds (1) before reaching 33-2 at stumps. Ramnaresh Sarwan was batting on 20 with nightwatchman Mervyn Dillon (4). Dravid, who made 115, 148 and 217 in his last three innings against England recently, struck 12 fours in his 14th Test hundred in 65 matches before retiring due to cramps and dehydration in the last session. Australian Jack Fingleton and South African Alan Melville are the other batsmen to have hit four hundreds in consecutive Test innings. West Indian Everton Weekes holds the world record of five centuries in as many Test innings. Dravid's memorable moment came in the second over after the tea-break when he on- drove fast bowler Mervyn Dillon through mid-wicket for two runs. He collapsed immediately after completing the second run and needed medical attention before being carried off the field after having batted 350 minutes in hot and humid conditions. His impressive run with the bat continued as he looked in good touch from the beginning, keeping the West Indies attack at bay with his faultless shot selection during a long innings. Dravid was the top Indian run-getter with 602 in six Test innings in England. India was indebted to Dravid for posting a big total because he had propped up the innings after his team had lost Sachin Tendulkar (35) and skipper Saurav Ganguly (4) in quick succession in the morning. India, resuming at 278 for 2, was reduced to 296 for 4 before Dravid lived up to his reputation and steadied the innings with a 105-run stand for the fifth wicket with Venkat Sai Laxman (45). Laxman fell at the stroke of tea, stumped by Ridley Jacobs off leg spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo. Nagamootoo triggered a late-order collapse after Dravid's departure, dismissing Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan off consecutive balls as India lost three wickets for one run. The West Indies' successes, however, came too late to put pressure on India as Dravid had already served his team with a commendable knock. Javagal Srinath (31), returning to Test cricket after announcing his retirement in June, then chanced his arm as he struck one six and three fours during a 49-run stand for the last wicket with Parthiv Patel (21 not out). Dillon was the most impressive bowler, finishing with 3-54. Nagamootoo (3-132) and paceman Cameron Cuffy (2-88) also chipped in. Dravid thwarted the West Indies after the tourists had struck back with the second new ball, claimed in the first over of the morning. Dillon and Cuffy dismissed Tendulkar and Ganguly in the space of 15 runs in the opening six overs. Tendulkar disappointed a large number of fans when he fell at his overnight score of 35 in the day's third over, edging Dillon to Jacobs after sharing a 68-run stand for the third wicket with Dravid. India suffered another blow when Ganguly was trapped leg before for four by Cuffy. The reliable Dravid then made the West Indies struggle for wickets for more than a session as he pulled his team out of trouble with Laxman.