Sehwag slams brisk half-ton, India 134/2 at tea

Published: Friday, October 18, 2002, 21:46 [IST]
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Chennai: Indian opener Virender Sehwag dominated the West Indies attack with a quick fire 61 in the second Test at the Chidambaram Stadium on Friday. The hard-hitting batsman struck three sixes and eight fours in his 65-ball knock as India reached 134 for two at tea on the second day in reply to the West Indies' first-innings total of 167. Sanjay Bangar played a supporting role in a solid 93-run stand for the opening wicket with Sehwag, adding 27 to his overnight score of six. Sachin Tendulkar was unbeaten on 21. India suffered a setback when debutant paceman Jermaine Lawson bowled in-form Rahul Dravid with one that cut in sharply off the pitch for his maiden Test wicket. Dravid, looking for his fifth hundred in successive innings to equal West Indian Everton Weekes's world record, contributed only 11. The West Indies had a chance to put pressure on India when Tendulkar mistimed a pull off Carl Hooper, but Shivnaraine Chanderpaul failed to judge the ball at wide mid-on. Tendulkar was then on eight in a total of 118. The extended 150-minute afternoon session belonged to Sehwag, who had scored a career-best 147 in the opening Test at Mumbai. He was let off twice during his fourth Test half-century in 11 matches, but continued to play attacking shots. Mervyn Dillon was the unlucky fast bowler as he found the edge of Sehwag's bat when the batsman was on 41, but only to see first slip Chris Gayle drop a catch after having got his hands to it. Debutant off spinner Gareth Breese then nearly bagged his maiden Test wicket in his first over, but Wavell Hinds failed to latch on to a sharp bat-pad chance at forward short-leg when Sehwag was on 47. Sehwag did not curb strokes despite getting two 'lives' and hoisted Breese over wide long-on for two sixes in the same eventful opening over, completing his half-century with the second shot. Sehwag's third six also came off Breese in the same direction. The West Indies, however, did not have to pay dearly for its shoddy catching as left-arm fast bowler Pedro Collins bowled Sehwag off stump in his fourth over of the day. Sehwag's brisk knock helped India score 103 in the session after resuming at 31 for no loss. No play was possible in the pre-lunch session due to a damp outfield following heavy overnight rain. But there was plenty to cheer about for nearly 20,000 spectators when the game started as Sehwag played attractive shots, adding 37 to his overnight score of 24. Dillon was the most impressive bowler as he made the batsmen work hard for each run, giving away just four in his opening five-over spell.

Last session to be extended to make up for loss

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