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West Indies v India, 2nd Test, St Lucia

India's first-innings advantage

S Rajesh

June 12, 2006

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Less than three days into the second Test, India have taken a stranglehold of the match, bundling out West Indies for a paltry 215 after amassing 588 for 8 in their first innings. The first-innings lead of 373 is India's second-highest in an overseas Test, and the fourth-highest in their 398-Test history.

The only occasion when an Indian side managed a lead of more than 373 while playing abroad was at Rawalpindi in 2003-04, when India amassed 600 after bundling Pakistan out for 224. India eventually ended up winning that match by an innings and 131 runs.

At home, India have twice managed a first-innings lead of more than 373: at Kolkata against Australia in 1997-98, they went a whopping 400 in front after racking up 633 for 5 in their first innings. Of the top eight instances of highest leads, the only occasion when India didn't go on to hammer home that advantage was in 1978-79 against West Indies. That match, though, was affected by poor weather - only 257 overs were bowled in the entire game. Can West Indies deny the marauding Indians yet again?

Highest first-innings lead for India
Opposition Lead Venue & year Result
Australia 400 Kolkata, 1997-98 Won by an innings and 219 runs
West Indies 394 Delhi, 1978-79 Draw
Pakistan 376 Rawalpindi, 2003-04 Won by an innings and 131 runs
West Indies 373 St Lucia, 2006 ?
England 355 Headingley, 2002 Won by an innings and 46 runs
Bangladesh 342 Dhaka, 2004-05 Won by an innings and 140 runs
New Zealand 328 Madras, 1955-56 Won by an innings and 109 runs
Sri Lanka 310 Bangalore 1993-94 Won by an innings and 95 runs

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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