Sachin, VVS win Test for India

Delhi, India -- Sachin Tendulkar made a solid 76 and VVS Laxman a well-measured 58 not out to help India score a five-wicket victory over the West Indies on Wednesday in the first Test, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.

Tendulkar missed out on a potential 100th international century, but his innings put India in a winning position on the fourth day at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium.

He added 67 for the third wicket with Rahul Dravid (31) and 71 for the next withLaxman (58 not out) as India were made to work hard for their victory.

Yuvraj Singh (18) was bowled by West Indian captain Darren Sammy with just one run needed for victory, leaving captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the other not out batsman without scoring a run.

Tendulkar, who resumed on 33, closed in on the historic 100 centuries milestone but was trapped lbw by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo when trying to pull a short-pitched delivery. He hit 10 fours in his 148-ball innings.

A crowd of more than 10,000 had turned up at the ground to watch Tendulkar get another three-figure mark but went back disappointed as the Mumbai batsman failed to do so.

Laxman, who had started with a couple of trademark shots off the leg to pace bowler Fidel Edwards early in his innings, struck six fours off 105 balls.  Earlier, overnight batsman Dravid was out for 31, adding only one run to his overnight score.

Pace bowler Fidel Edwards bowled a beautiful incoming delivery that went between bat and pad, what was called the ball of the match. Dravid batted for a total of 154 minutes, hitting only three fours off 101 balls.

The West Indies, who had won a previous two-Test series in Bangladesh by a 1-0 margin, had a comfortable 95-run first innings lead but failed to drive home the advantage when India bowled the visitors out for only 180 in the second innings.

“That was a big lead, we all felt we did not bat the way we should have in the first innings,” Dhoni said. “It was not an easy wicket to score, you had to be aware of the ball that kept low.”

India’s experienced batting line-up, which had folded for only 209 in the first innings, made few mistakes the second time around and also buried fears of low bounce on a pitch which did not see huge scores.

“When you play against a top team, you want to create the opportunity to win which we did that in the first innings. We did not bat well in the second but believe we can win matches here.”

The next Test will be held at Eden Gardens in Kolkata from November 14 to 18 and the final game in at the Wandheke Stadium in Mumbai from November 22 to 26.

The Test Series will be followed by five One-Day Internationals.

Wed, 11/09/2011 - 01:56