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Thursday, 7 November 2013

India vs West Indies – 1st Test, Day 1: Report


The bowlers put India in a dominating position at the end of first day’s play at the Eden Gardens. Local lad and debutant, Mohammed Shami, claimed a four-for, while the rest of the bowlers chipped in with wickets to bowl West Indies out for 234 in the first innings.  In reply, India were trailing by 197 runs with openers Shikhar Dhawan on 21 and Murali Vijay on 16 at the end of day’s play. (Also Read: India vs West Indies – 1st Test, Day 1: Stats Highlights)
Earlier, after the West Indies opted to bat first, pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami removed the visitors’ openers – Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell respectively – within the first 15 overs of the day to get India off to a good start.
Gayle, who had looked tentative during his short stay at the crease, was the first to be sent back. The destructive opener edged Kumar to Murali Vijay at second slip. And four overs later, Shami got the better of Powell. He departed while top-edging a wide bouncer from the debutant to Kumar at mid-off, leaving his team on 47 for two.
However, Marlon Samuels, who then joined Darren Bravo in the middle, counterattacked to revive the West Indies innings. While Bravo was happy to play the supporting role, Samuels milked the bowlers and was five short of his fifty when lunch was taken. He had sent Pragyan Ojha over the ropes twice, while Bravo meted out the same treatment to Ravichandran Ashwin as they took their team to 107 for two thanks to a 60-run partnership at the end of the first session.
The second session, however, belonged to the hosts. Playing at his home ground, Shami wrecked the WI middle order to tilt the game back in India’s favour. Although Samuels got to his half-century in the first over that he faced after lunch, he lasted to collect only 15 more runs. Dropped by the wicketkeeper while trying to cut Ojha, he lost his stumps to Shami in the next. The pacer was then responsible for running out Bravo in the next over. In the following over Shami dismantled Denesh Ramdin’s stumps, thereby giving India three important breakthroughs in quick succession.
WI skipper Darren Sammy was the next to depart after playing a wild shot off Ojha only to find Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the boundary. While the visitors continued to struggle, MS Dhoni handed the ball to the man of the moment, Sachin Tendulkar, as the tea break neared. Armed with the red ball, the Little Master claimed his 200th international wicket to ring in the break. He trapped Shane Shillingford leg-before with the ball hitting the batsman plumb in front. This left the West Indies on 192 for seven at the end of the second session.
After tea, Ashwin got his first scalp of the day; Veerasammy Permaul hit the ball back to the off-spinner to return to the hut for 14. 22 runs later, the bowler knocked back Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s off-stump to end the veteran campaigner’s resistance for 36. And in a fitting end to the innings, Shami removed debutant Sheldon Cottrell’s off-stump to bowl West Indies out for 234.
Opening the batting for India, Dhawan and Vijay then took guard and negotiated 12 overs of West Indies bowling to take India to 37 without loss when stumps were called.  
Debut:  India - Mohammed Shami and Rohit Sharma; West Indies - SS Cottrell


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