Roseau, July 9: India are in the driver's seat of the third and final Test against hosts West Indies by taking a 104-run lead with four wickets still in hand. At stumps on Day 3, India were 308/6 thanks to half-centuries from Abhinav Mukund (62), VVS Laxman (56), Suresh Raina (50) and M S Dhoni (65 not out). Windies pace-bowlers Fidel Edwards and Darren Sammy picked two wickets each while spin twins Devendra Bishyoo and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul grabbed one apiece.
India resumed on their overnight score of 8/0 in 4 overs with Abhinav Mukund not out on 6 and Murali Vijay on 1. In the third over of the day itself, Fidel Edwards induced Vijay into a poke to his outswinger which picked up an edge through to the keeper. Vijay's poor tour continued as he was on his way back for 5 as the score read 13/0 in 6.1 overs.
Darren Sammy kept up the pressure at the other end, bowling Rahul Dravid for a mere 5 as India slipped to 18/2 in 9.2 overs. But Mukund stood his ground and together with an enterprising Laxman took India to 50/2 in 22 overs. The two made hay while the sun shone as the score reached 100/2 in the 37th over with Mukund notching up his maiden 50 in Tests.
But just 3 runs shy of completing a 100-run stand, the partnership was broken by Bishoo, who had Mukund caught at short-leg for 62 off 149 balls. Then Laxman took the innings forward with Virat Kohli as idnia 's score moved over 150/3 in the 51st over. Two overs later, Laxman struck Bishoo for a boundary to bring up his 50.
In the 57th over, the Windies hit back when Sammy had Kohli caught behind for 30 as the score now read 168/4. The in a rare bowler's avatar, Shivnarine Chanderpaul spun VVS Laxman into submission, having the batsman stumped for 56 of 129 balls. India were looking vulnerable at 172/5 in 59.3 overs.
But new batsmen Suresh Raina and M S Dhoni weathered the storm and soon took charge. India thus climed to 200/5 in 73 overs and 255/5 in 84 overs. But no sooner had Raina reached his 50 and the pair had put on 100 runs together, than he was trapped in front by a resurgent Fidel Edwards for 50 in 103 balls. The Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh played out the last few overs of the day as India reached 308/6 at stumps.