Hinds hammers 113 as Ganguly gamble to field fails

Published: Monday, May 20, 2002, 0:02 [IST]
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Kingston (Jamaica): Opener Wavell Hinds smashed an attractive 113 as India's decision to put the West Indies in to bat backfired in the fifth and final Test on Saturday. The 25-year-old Jamaican cracked two sixes and 14 fours in his second Test hundred to help his team post an impressive 287 for four at stumps on the opening day at the Sabina Park. Skipper Carl Hooper was unbeaten on 14 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul on four. They already have two double-century stands to their credit in the series. The West Indies lost three wickets for 18 runs in the closing session, but not before Hinds had put his team in a sound position. Off spinner Harbhajan Singh dismissed Hinds and Ramnaresh Sarwan (65), while left- arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra removed Brian Lara (9) for the third time in four innings to reduce the hosts from 246 for one to 264 for four. India came across a chance to improve their position, but Shiv Das dropped a prolific Hooper on 10 in the covers off Nehra. Sarwan again played an exciting cameo before falling immediately after completing his fourth half-century against the tourists. He has so far hit 13 fifties in his 22 Tests, but is still without a century. Lara struggled during his brief stay at the crease before edging the fast bowler to wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra, who dived to his left to bring off a low catch. The late reversals, however, failed to severely affect the West Indies as India needed wickets in the first session to gain an upper hand, but were thwarted by Hinds. Hinds put on 111 for the opening wicket with Chris Gayle (68) and 135 for the second with Sarwan to make India skipper Saurav Ganguly rue his decision to field after winning the toss for the first time in five matches. His stand with Gayle was the West Indies' best for the opening wicket in the ongoing series, shattering Ganguly's hopes of capturing early wickets on a lively track. Hinds became off spinner Harbhajan Singh's 100th Test victim as he was caught by Wasim Jaffer at long-off in the last session while going for his third six. The left-hander, dropped for the first three Tests, regained his place with an entertaining 175 in a three-day game against the tourists at St Lucia last month. He continued to relish the Indian attack, slamming an impressive 65 in his comeback Test at Antigua before exposing the tourists' bowling limitations on his home ground. The West Indies was indebted to their left-handed openers for getting off to a flying start as both Gayle and Hinds dominated the Indian bowling with a wide range of attacking shots. Gayle struck 13 fours in his sixth Test half-century before being caught steering left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan by Jaffer at gully in the afternoon. He also completed 1,000 runs in his 21st Test. The Indian captain looked for a couple of early wickets to put pressure on the hosts on a track having both bounce and pace, but was let down by his trio of pacemen as none could keep a testing line and length in his opening spell. Javagal Srinath looked a run-containing bowler, while Zaheer and Nehra either overpitched or wasted the new ball by bowling outside the off stump. Harbhajan was unable to turn the ball on a first-day wicket and was punished by the West Indies batsmen. Gayle reached his second Test half-century against the tourists in the last over before lunch when he swept Harbhajan for a brace. He also cut and swept the spinner for two fours in the same over. Hinds completed his half-century in the afternoon, swinging Harbhajan for his seventh boundary. He reached his hundred in the closing session with a two to square- leg off the spinner. He twice hoisted Harbhajan over long-off for sixes during his 200-ball innings. Gayle and Hinds began cautiously as they scored just 26 in the opening 14 overs but stepped up the run-rate after having settled down, plundering 62 in the next 13. Ganguly himself came on to bowl after his frontline fast bowlers had failed to deliver, but was greeted by Hinds with an on-driven four in the first over. The Indian captain was also warned by Zimbabwean umpire Russell Tiffin for running on to the pitch on his follow-through in his third over. The tourists had to wait for more than a session for their first success before Zaheer dismissed Gayle, suffering from cramps after completing his half-century. The five-match series is presently tied at 1-1, with India winning the second Test and the West Indies the third.

WI fritters away advantage, still in good position

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