Laxman, Dhoni make Windies toil
VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni hit tons before West Indies were reduced to 34-2 in reply to India's 631-7 declared on day two at Eden Gardens.
Last Updated: 16/11/11 11:01am
Centuries from VVS Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni helped India declare on 631-7 before West Indies were reduced to 34-2 in reply by stumps on day two of the second Test at Eden Garden.
India's seventh-wicket pair batted throughout the afternoon session during a stand of 224, Dhoni finally going for 144 after tea and Laxman remaining unbeaten on 176 when the declaration came.
Laxman's effort continued his affinity for the Kolkata venue, having now scored unbeaten hundreds in each of his last three innings.
He now averages 110.63 at the ground in 15 innings, including five tons - level with Mohammad Azharuddin for the record - and three half-centuries.
West Indies lost openers Adrian Barath and Kraigg Brathwaite during the 12 overs possible before bad light ended play early.
Barath went to the eighth delivery of the innings, Umesh Yadav finding the outside edge with some extra lift and Virender Sehwag holding a sharp catch at third slip.
Brathwaite hit two boundaries in reaching 17 but was then unfortunate to be given out to a bat-pad catch to Gautam Gambhir at short-leg off Ravi Ashwin's bowling. Replays indicated the ball went to Gambhir via pad only.
Kirk Edwards (12no) and Darren Bravo (4no) will resume on the third morning with West Indies, who trail 1-0 in the three-match series, trailing by 597.
Laxman had earlier completed his 17th Test hundred in the morning session.
Resuming on 346-5 after Rahul Dravid's 119 had put India in a strong position on the first day, the hosts added 87 to their total before bad light brought an early lunch.
Laxman started the day 73 not out alongside Yuvraj Singh and soon set about advancing towards his fourth Test ton against the Windies.
Yuvraj survived the opening exchanges with Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards, only to fall leg before wicket for 25 in Darren Sammy's first over of the day.
Undeterred, Laxman brought up his hundred soon after with a trademark shot for four, whipping through the onside off Sammy.
Yuvraj's dismissal saw the arrival of Dhoni and the India captain enjoyed two big slices of luck when he twice edged to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh - each time off no balls from Roach.
After taking India to 433 by lunch, the pair pushed on in the afternoon session as they drove India past the 600 mark as Dhoni raced to his fifth Test hundred and Laxman pressed on past 150.
A total of 180 unanswered runs were plundered during the middle session. The 200 partnership between Laxman and Dhoni came up in the 145th over as 19 runs were taken from Brathwaite's over, including a four and a six to the India captain.
India went on to reach 631-7, Dhoni falling to the third ball after tea before declaring three overs later.
Dhoni hit a straight six off Kemar Roach, the fifth maximum of his innings, but was dismissed off the next ball when he flailed wildly outside off stump and edged to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh.
India's double strike with the new ball further asserted their dominance before bad light came to West Indies .