Third Test: Thunderstorms, heavy rains wash out ….

Third Test: Thunderstorms, heavy rains wash out third day’s play

St Lucia, Aug 12 (IANS) Thunderstorms and incessant rains washed out the third day’s play of the third Test between India and West Indies at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium at Gros Islet in this picturesque city-state.

Though overnight rain did stop ahead of the first session, play could not begin on Thursday as the outfield was flooded and the pitch was damp under covers.

Before umpires Nigel Llong (England) and Rod Tucker (Australia) could walk into the ground for a second inspection at 2 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. IST), heavy downpour in the afternoon further delayed the match even in the post-lunch session.

Steady drizzle and inclement weather subsequently prevented a ball being bowled, forcing the authorities to call off the play for the day as the ground was water-logged and the area around the boundary was slushy.

The West Indies were to resume their first innings from the overnight 107/1 in 47 overs, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite (53) and one-down Darren Bravo (18) at the crease.

“If weather improves, match will resume 30 minutes early on Friday at 9:30 a.m. local time (7:00 p.m. IST) and 98 overs will be bowled instead of 90 to make up for the loss of a whole day,” a stadium official said.

Replying to India’s 353 all out on Wednesday, West Indies began their first innings on the second day in the post-lunch session, with Brathwaite and Leon Johnson being cautious of the Indian seam bowling in windy conditions.

India, however, got a breakthrough in the 24th over when Johnson was run out for 23 in 75 balls by a quick throw at the bowling end by Lokesh Rahul when Windies were 59/0.

Earlier, Indian middle-order stars Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha hit centuries in the post-lunch session before the Windies packed off the tail-enders for a paltry addition of 14 runs.

The second Test, which played at the Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica from July 30 to August 3, ended in a draw, as sudden downpour interrupted the match on the third day (August 1) after tea and play was called off on the fourth day (August 2) as a tropical rainstorm lashed the city.

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