Shared honours on Day 1 of India-WI Test

Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 8:52 [IST]
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Shared honours on Day 1 of India-WI Test

Bridgetown, June 29: Fortunes swung wildly on Day 1 of the second Test between the visiting Indian side and hosts West Indies with the latter trailing by 171 runs with 7 wickets in hand at stumps. Batting first, India's innings was in shambles at 38/4, when a defiant stand by VVS Laxman (85) and Suresh Raina (53) got India out of jail. The two put on 117 runs for the fifth wicket before India folded for 201. The Windies' seamers Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul and leg-break Devendra Bishoo took 3 wickets apiece. But then the tourists' attack struck back with a vengeance, reducing the hosts to 30/3 at the end of the day's play (scoreboard).

Batting first, India got off to a less-than-inspiring start with Windies' paceman Ravi Rampaul sending back a listless Abhinav Mukund for 1 after having him fend off a rising delivery straight to gully. With India at 1/1 in 1.3 overs, one-down batsman Rahul Dravid and surviving opener Murali Vijay played cautiously, before Windies' captain Darren Sammy had Dravid caught behind for 5 as India slipped to 8/2 in 10.1 overs. Three overs later, Vijay got a reprieve when Bishoo spilled a catch off Sammy's bowling.

But even with VVS Laxman at the other end, Vijay didn't seem comfortable at the crease. In an eventful 26th over, the latter batsman's struggle came to an end when Rampaul had him caught behind for 11 off 75 balls. And just two balls later, Virat Kohli joined him back in the shed for a duck, also being dismissed by Rampaul. India were reeling at 38/4 when Laxman and Suresh Raina set about repairing the damage. They took India into lunch at 44/4 in 27 overs

Soon after the break India crossed 50, before Laxman slapped Rampaul for two boundaries. Now the momentum was slowly shifting towards the tourists. The runs now came at a slightly faster rate with Laxman and Raina finding the boundaries fairly regularly.

The batting duo took India past 100/4 in the 41st over and by the 50th, Laxman had notched up his half-century off 92 balls. Then the batsman reasserted his dominance over the attack when he smashed Rampaul for two consecutive boundaries as India went into tea at 147/4 in 53 overs. Meanwhile, Raina had brought up his 50 as well.

But a short while after the day's final session got underway, Bishoo got the breakthrough when he had Raina caught at forward short leg for 53 off 105 balls. India were 157/5 at that stage. But Indian captain M S Dhoni didn't last long, getting snapped at mid-on off Fidel Edwards, for 2 as India slumped to 167/6 in 59 overs. Harbhajan Singh was out soon afterwards, attempting to fend off a short ball from Edwards and was caught by a diving forward short leg.

Bhajji was on his way for 5 as the visitors' slide continued at 182/7. Then Laxman tried to up the ante only to be removed by Bishoo for 85 off 146 balls. The tail tried to hold out for as long as possible, managing to take India past 200. But the tourists were eventually bowled out for 201 in 68 overs.

It was India's turn to have a go at the Windies' floundering line-up and flounder the hosts did, yet again. In the 4th over, Ishant Sharma had Adrian Barath caught at gully with a straight length ball. The opener was on his way for 3 off 17 balls with his side at 3/1.

Then in the next over, Praveen Kumar came to the party, getting the other opener Lendl Simmons caught by the keeper for 2. The Windies were in dire straight at 7/2 in under 5 overs. New batsmen Ramnaresh Swarwan and Darren Bravo tried to bat out the last few overs of the day. However, just before stumps, Abhimanyu Mithun had Bravo caught behind for 9 off 21 balls. India had reduced the hosts to 30/3 in 12 overs.

Oneindia Cricket

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