Bowlers rule the roost in India's memorable win

Bowlers rule the roost in India's memorable win

Dhonis men down Windies by 63 runs

Bowlers rule the roost in India's memorable win

Absence of a few big names and a bowling attack sans Zaheer Khan were considered a huge stumbling block in India’s trip to the Caribbean. They also had to negotiate an unexpectedly stubborn West Indian team at various stages of the first Test at the Sabina Park.

But India’s grit and depth came forth shining as they notched up a commendable victory in the second session of the fourth day, skittling the hosts out for 262.  The result might have been all the more sweet as it came after a few gripping moments. West Indies had done well in the previous evening to reach 131 for three, courtesy some aggressive batting by openers Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons.

The home side began the day on a hopeful note with the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul and the talented Darren Bravo looking set for a long haul. If West Indies were to make any serious attempt to scale down the mammoth 313, the left-handed pair would perforce have to make major contributions.

There were moments in the first hour that indicated the comfort of Chanderpaul and Bravo against Indian bowlers, hungry for an early breakthrough. They were pretty solid in their footwork, and looked at ease against the pace and bounce of Ishant Sharma.

But it required the deceptiveness of Praveen Kumar for India to get their first scalp of the morning. Praveen has been impressive in this Test with his ability to swing the ball around, creating doubts in batsmen’s mind. The Uttar Pradesh medium pacer does not have intimidating speed, but he can keep batsmen in check with nagging line and clever variations.

Praveen, who received another warning for running on to the pitch the previous evening, tested the patience of Bravo with a series of deliveries outside the off-stump, and the Trinidadian had to think out of the box to score. His effort to be innovative brought a perilous consequence. Bravo moved across the stumps, exposing his leg-stump too much, and Praveen had little difficulty in zooming on the woodwork.

The wicket changed the entire course of the match. All of a sudden the fighting spirit seemed to have ebbed out of the home side, and India looked more like the confident, purposeful world champions. Riding on the wild wave of momentum, Praveen fetched the second wicket for India in the first session, and what a big wicket it was.

Chanderpaul is one West Indian batsman who has the experience of playing long innings, and he knows what it takes to be a part of the world’s best team having played in the West Indian side of the early 90s. The Guyanese is also, perhaps, the only player in this West Indian line-up with the technique to bat for long on a tough pitch like the one here.

In that context, it was his responsibility to hang around and marshal the troop around, just like Rahul Dravid did for India on Wednesday. But the West Indian veteran could not emulate the Indian great. Chanderpaul decided to drive away from the body, but the ball didn’t come on to the bat as quickly as expected, resulting in a tame catch to Suresh Raina at covers.

With Chanderpaul’s departure, West Indies’ hopes of mounting a meaningful chase too vanished. The rest of the pack didn’t have the ability or temperament to cope with the Indian bowlers as the visitors etched a memorable win.

Score Board

INDIA (I Innings): 246 all out
WEST INDIES (I Innings): 173 all out
INDIA (II Innings):
Vijay lbw Rampaul    0
(2b)
Mukund c Baugh b Bishoo    25
(75b, 3x4)
Dravid c Sarwan b Bishoo    112
(274b, 10x4, 1x6)
Laxman c&b Sammy    0
(5b)
Kohli c Baugh b Edwards    15
(54b, 2x4)
Raina c Sammy b Bishoo    27
(53b, 3x4)
Dhoni c Edwards b Bishoo    16
(16b, 1x4, 1x6)
Harbhajan lbw Sammy    5
(31b)
Praveen b Sammy    0
(2b)
Mishra c Bravo b Sammy    28
(60b, 4x4)
Ishant (not out)    5
(6b, 1x4)
Extras (B-8, LB-2, NB-9)    19
Total (all out, 94.5 overs)    252
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Vijay), 2-56 (Mukund), 3-57 (Laxman), 4-100 (Kohli), 5-148 (Raina), 6-166 (Dhoni), 7-183 (Harbhajan), 8-183 (Praveen), 9-239 (Mishra).
Bowling: Edwards 20-1-70-1 (nb-6), Rampaul 22-3-49-1, Sammy 27-11-52-4, Bishoo 24.5-2-65-4 (nb-3), Nash 1-0-6-0.
WEST INDIES (II Innings, O/n: 131/3 in 33 overs):
Barath c Raina b Praveen    38
(36b, 4x4, 2x6)
Simmons b Ishant    27
(41b, 3x4, 1x6)
Sarwan c Kohli b Ishant    0
(2b)
Bravo b Praveen    41
(89b, 7x4)
C’derpaul c Raina b Praveen    30
(73b, 4x4)
Nash lbw Mishra    9
(36b)
Baugh c Kohli b Harbhajan    0
(4b)
Sammy c Laxman b Mishra    25
(11b, 1x4, 3x6)
Rampaul c Dhoni b Ishant    34
(32b, 6x4, 1x6)
Edwards (not out)    15
(54b, 1x4)
Bishoo b Raina    26
(32b, 2x4, 1x6)
Extras (B-1, LB-13, W-2, NB-1)    17
Total (all out, 68.2 overs)    262
Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Barath), 2-63 (Sarwan), 3-80 (Simmons), 4-148 (Bravo), 5-149 (Chanderpaul), 6-150 (Baugh), 7-181 (Sammy), 8-188 (Nash), 9-223 (Rampaul).
Bowling: Praveen 16-3-42-3, Ishant 17-3-81-3 (w-2), Mishra 13-1-62-2 (nb-1), Harbhajan 16-3-54-1, Raina 6.2-1-9-1.

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