Dravid steadies innings after loss of early wickets

Published: Thursday, October 10, 2002, 17:59 [IST]
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Mumbai: Rahul Dravid steadied India with a solid unbeaten 63 after Sachin Tendulkar's early dismissal in the opening Test against the West Indies on Thursday. India lost Tendulkar and skipper Saurav Ganguly in quick succession before reaching 342 for 4 at lunch on the second day at the Wankhede Stadium. Venkatsai Laxman was batting on 24 with the reliable Dravid at the break. The West Indies achieved instant success with the second new ball, claimed in the first over of the morning after India had resumed at 278 for 2. Fast bowlers Mervyn Dillon and Cameron 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 wicket-keeper Ridley 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, who bowled well in his opening five-over spell on a slow wicket. Laxman and Dravid then denied the West Indies further success with their sensible knocks, having added 46 for the unfinished fifth wicket. Dravid's impressive run with the bat continued as he looked in good touch from the beginning, keeping the West Indies attack at bay with his solid batting. Dravid, the top Indian run-getter with 602 in his last four Tests in England recently, has so far struck eight fours in his 28th Test half-century. His best came in the closing overs of the morning session as he fluently straight- drove and then cut left-arm fast bowler Pedro Collins for two successive boundaries. Skipper Carl Hooper promptly replaced Collins with Dillon, who has so far claimed three of the four wickets that fell in the Indian innings.

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