Sharma and Pujara centuries all but sink Windies

India

Fine centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma and the retiring Sachin Tendulkar's parting 74 afforded India a hefty total of 495 all out – and a lead of 313 – before three early wickets left the West Indies reeling on 43 for three.

Fine centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma and the retiring Sachin Tendulkar's parting half-ton afforded India a hefty total of 495 all out – and a lead of 313 – before three early wickets left the West Indies reeling on 43 for three – on day two of the second and final Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Plenty of fanfare continued on Friday, when Tendulkar resumed on an unbeaten 38. While a celebratory century wasn't to be, a characteristically wristy 74 – lined with magnificent timing and outstanding placement – obliged millions of adoring fans countrywide.

Proceedings, ultimately, were dominated by Sharma and Pujara. Insisting the future of the Test team is in good hands despite the relatively recent retirements of veterans Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman – and now Tendulkar – the pair were genuinely superb.

What Pujara's 113 offered in maturity, Sharma's 111 not out professed in adventure. The duo struck 23 boundaries and three sixes between them, and capitalised on plenty of poor deliveries.

Indeed, only spinner Shane Shillingford was spared. The slow bowler clinched a record fifth consecutive Test five-wicket haul. Captain Darren Sammy, meanwhile, became the first West Indians to take a quintet of catches in a single innings.

India's formidable final tally, in fact, would have read considerably less – were it not for an 80-run stand for the last wicket between Rohit and tail-ender Mohammad Shami. Sharma shepherded the number 11 perfectly, while the Shami's stay was long enough to bring Rohit three figures.

The West Indians' response was riddled with a lack of discipline, epitomised by opener Kieran Powell's impatience, which afforded long-off fielder Ravichandran Ashwin a simple catch. Nightwatchman Tino Best didn't last long either.

The final blow, one which all but signaled the beginning of the end for the Windies come Saturday, was landed when the left-handed Darren Bravo perished to Ashwin's turn. The belligerent Chris Gayle remains, but with little support to flank his effort, defeat within three days probably awaits.

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