Kingston (Jamaica): Indian bowlers failed to take advantage of favourable conditions as West Indies made a promising start to the fifth and final cricket Test here on Saturday.
Having won the toss for the first time in the series, Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly had no hesitation in putting West Indies to bat on a green-top pitch that promised a lot for the fast bowlers. However, the failure of the Indian speedsters to maintain a tidy line and length coupled with good application from the batsmen saw West Indies reach a solid 181 for one at tea. Openers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds struck brilliant half-centuries after a very watchful start and put on 111 runs for the first wicket, the best for the West Indies in this series.
Gayle, who hit 13 boundaries in his 106-ball knock of 68, was dismissed by Zaheer Khan in the second session when the batsman attempted a rare rash shot to be caught by Wasim Jaffer at point. Hinds, who was relatively quiet till Gayle was at the crease, blossomed after the dismissal of his partner and did the bulk of the scoring even as the in-form Ramnaresh Sarwan continued his fine run in the series.
Hinds completed his fifty with a boundary off Harbhajan Singh and then lofted the bowler for a straight six. He was batting on 67 with seven fours and a six at tea break while Sarwan was on 39.