Rahul Dravid hits century for India in Kingston Test

First Test, Kingston (day three):
India 246 & 252 v West Indies 173 & 131-3
Match scorecard
Rahul Dravid
Dravid's century set West Indies a formidable final innings target

Rahul Dravid struck an assured century to give India the edge after three days of the first Test against West Indies.

The 38-year-old, in his 151st Test, resumed on 45 and completed his 32nd Test hundred before he was the final wicket to fall in India's total of 252.

That left the Windies needing 326 for victory, and Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons quickly put on 62 in 11 overs.

Three wickets fell quickly but Darren Bravo was unbeaten on 30 as they closed 195 short of their target at 131-3.

India began a delicately poised third day in Kingston 164 runs ahead with seven wickets intact, and Dravid reached his century from 252 balls midway through the afternoon session.

But when Windies skipper Darren Sammy removed Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar within three balls, the latter with a superb late inswinger, the tourists were only 256 ahead with two wickets remaining.

However, Dravid shared a potentially crucial stand of 56 in 17 overs with diminutive tail-ender Amit Mishra, who was finally caught at third man to give Sammy his fourth wicket.

The West Indies hold the record for the highest Test run chase, having amassed 418 to beat Australia in Antigua in 2003, and the spirit of that match was evident as their openers made an uninhibited start.

Barath hit two sixes and a four off Sharma in the fifth over of the innings, while Simmons slog-swept leg-spinner Mishra for a gargantuan six that reached the third tier of the stand over mid-wicket.

But Barath, who was dropped on 29 by keeper Mahendra Dhoni off Mishra, chased a wide one from Test debutant Praveen Kumar and got a thick edge to third slip where Suresh Raina held a sharp catch.

No blame could be attached to Simmons four overs later, however, a magnificent delivery from Sharma pitching on off stump, holding its line and knocking back the off pole, leaving the batsman staring back at the shattered timbers in disbelief.

Fluent left-hander Bravo remained, striking six boundaries in an unbroken partnership of 51 with the limpet-like Shivnarine Chanderpaul to retain hopes of another final innings triumph in the Caribbean.