Mumbai: Fast bowler Zaheer Khan threatened to ruin Carl Hooper's special match with a career-best 4-41 as India gained an upper hand in the first Test against the West Indies on Friday.
The 24-year-old left-arm seamer sparked a West Indies collapse with three wickets in four overs in the post-lunch session to help India gain a massive 300-run lead on the third day at the Wankhede Stadium. All out for 157 in the fourth over after tea in reply to India's 457, the tourists also failed to avoid the follow-on mark of 258. The West Indies lost free-stroking opener Wavell Hinds (40) before reaching 91-1 in its second innings at stumps. Hinds hit nine fours in his 34-ball knock before being bowled round the legs by off spinner Harbhajan Singh. Chris Gayle (34) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (9) were the not-out batsmen as the West Indies required 209 runs more to make the hosts bat again. Shivnaraine Chanderpaul alone gave a good account of himself in a feeble West Indian batting display in the first innings, defying the Indian attack for 236 minutes to score 54 for his 28th Test half-century in 59 matches. The gutsy left-hander continued to haunt India for the second successive series, having already made 562 in seven innings of a five-Test home series in May with an average of 140.50. He was dismissed just four times. But there was little to cheer about for West Indies skipper Hooper in his 100th Test as he contributed only 23 before becoming Zaheer's second victim. He then saw his team face the daunting task of saving the match after conceding a big lead. Zaheer began the rout in his third over lunch when he removed Hooper and then went on to dismiss Ryan Hinds and Ridley Jacobs in an impressive display of seam bowling on a slow pitch. Hooper pulled straight to Sanjay Bangar at square-leg. Hinds was trapped leg before for nine, while Jacobs was caught by a diving Saurav Ganguly in the covers for no score. Zaheer's three wicket haul came for just 20 runs in his first seven-over spell of the afternoon session, but he still fell short of his maiden five-wicket bag. His effort, however, was his best in 21 Tests, the previous being 4-76 against Sri Lanka at Kandy last year. The West Indies also failed to cope with spin on a slow turning pitch as leg spinner Anil Kumble troubled it with his clever variations to finish with 4-51. Barring Chanderpaul, none of the batsmen could apply himself against a disciplined Indian pace-spin attack after the tourists had resumed at 33-2. The West Indies' woes began in overcast conditions when it lost two quick wickets in the morning and continued in the bright sunshine in the late afternoon. India started with a double-spin attack and got a vital wicket in the eighth over. Sarwan, a consistent run-getter, added just two to his overnight 20 before being trapped leg before on the backfoot by Kumble with the one that kept a bit low. Night watchman Mervyn Dillon survived against spin, but fell to pace after hitting a straight six off Kumble and one four in his 21. Javagal Srinath, returning to Test cricket after announcing his retirement in June, bowled Dillon with a real cutter. Hooper played a couple of attacking shots in the morning, pulling Zaheer for a four and then lofting Harbhajan over mid-wicket for another boundary before he fell playing one stroke too many.
Scorecard of Test 1 Day 3
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