Windes facing stern survival test
KOLKATA, India, Nov 16, IANS/CMC – A meek first innings surrender left West Indies needing a miracle to save the second Test, as India closed in on a massive win on the third day at Eden Gardens here Wednesday.
The Caribbean side, fighting to stay alive in the three-match series after losing the first Test, collapsed to a paltry 153 all out in their first innings after resuming the day on 34 for two.
Following on by 478 runs, West Indies finished the day on an improved 195 for three but still needing a further 283 runs to stave off an innings defeat.
Opener Adrian Barath hit 62 and the in-form Kirk Edwards hammered 60 but lively seamer Ishant Sharma (2-42) accounted for both, leaving the Windies to rebuild.
At the close, stylish left-hander Darren Bravo (38 not out) and veteran Shiv Chanderpaul (21 not out) were undertaking the repair job in a 34-run, fourth wicket stand.
In the morning, the spin-pace combination of Pragyan Ojha (4-64) and Umesh Yadav (3-23) wrecked West Indies, allowing India to carve out a massive first innings lead.
The visitors seemed all at sea negotiating the Indian bowlers on a wicket still good for batting and lost their remaining eight wickets inside an extended session.
Yadav maintained a tight line and length and got movement both off the pitch and in the air while 25-year-old left-arm-spinneer Ojha flighted the ball delightfully and posed problems for all the batsmen.
West Indies lost Kirk Edwards (16) in the day’s fifth over when he played for a non-existent turn and was adjudged leg before to Ojha on the backfoot.
Chanderpaul (4), known for his proficiency against Indian spinners, lasted just six balls before playing back to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and also falling lbw at 46 for four.
Bravo (30) and Samuels (25) then mounted a 46-run, fifth wicket stand in an attempt to stitch up an innings coming apart at the seams but neither fully settled.
While Bravo struck six fours off 56 balls in 70 minutes at the crease, Samuels was more circumspect in just under an hour at the crease, counting three well-timed fours.
Yadav returned to claim both in successive overs, forcing Bravo to play on and then sending back Samuels with a beauty that pitched around middle and straightened to uproot the stumps and leave the Windies tottering on 99 for six.
Captain Darren Sammy struck some customary lusty blows in 18 from 14 balls but was one of four wickets to tumble for 33 runs as the Windies were collapsed.
There was no better fortune second time around for the Windies. Teenaged opener Kraigg Brathwaite (9) sparred uncertainly at Yadav in the fifth over of the innings and was taken low down by wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, to leave the tourists on 23 for one.
Barath and Kirk Edwards, both of whom hold the distinction of scoring hundreds on Test debut, tried to reverse the plot in a 93-run second wicket partnership.
Both played positively, Barath carving out 10 boundaries off 105 balls while Edwards struck six fours and a six – a clean hit over long-on off Ojha.
Barath reached his third 50 in eight Tests with a single by pushing an Ashwin delivery in the point region but was lucky to survive a close leg before decision in the same over and at the same score.
However, Barath’s departed to the fourth ball after tea when his attempted drive at Sharma found VVS Laxman low down at first slip.
Edwards and Bravo were then involved in a 45-run stand that took the team past the 150-mark.
The right-handed Edwards, who had earlier reached his second Test half-century with a boundary off Sharma, missed a delivery from the same bowler that straightened after pitching and was plumb lbw.
Bravo, who has so far struck three sixes and a four, combined with a more sedate Chanderpaul to ensure there were no further hiccups for the Windies as they safely navigated their way to the close.
INDIA 1st Innings 631 for seven decl. (VVS Laxman 176, MS Dhoni 144, Rahul Dravid 119)
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
(overnight 34 for two)
A Barath c Sehwag b Yadav 1
K Brathwaite c Gambhir b Ashwin 17
K Edwards lbw b Ojha 16
D Bravo b Yadav 30
S Chanderpaul lbw b Ashwin 4
M Samuels b Yadav 25
+C Baugh lbw b Ojha 13
*D Sammy c wkp Dhoni b Ojha 18
K Roach run out 2
F Edwards lbw b Ojha 16
D Bishoo not out 8
Extras (lb 3) 3
TOTAL (all out; 48 overs) 153
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Barath), 2-30 (Brathwaite), 3-42 (KA Edwards), 4-46 (Chanderpaul), 5-92 (Bravo), 6-99 (Samuels), 7-120 (Sammy), 8-129 (Roach), 9-129 (Baugh), 10-153 (F Edwards)
Bowling: Ojha 22-5-64-4, Yadav 7-1-23-3, Ashwin 14-3-49-2, Sharma 5-2-14-0
WEST INDIES 2nd innings (following on)
A Barath c Laxman b Sharma 62
K Brathwaite c wkp Dhoni b Yadav 9
K Edwards lbw b Sharma 60
D Bravo not out 38
S Chanderpaul not out 21
Extras (b1, lb3, w1) 5
TOTAL (3 wkts; 62 overs) 195
To bat: M Samuels, +C Baugh, *D Sammy, F Edwards, D Bishoo, K Roach.
Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Brathwaite), 2-116 (Barath), 3-161 (K Edwards)
Bowling: Yadav 10-1-36-1, Sharma 14-3-41-2, Ojha 11-3-37-0, Ashwin 20-1-51-0, Yuvraj Singh 3-0-14-0, Sehwag 4-0-12-0.
Position: West Indies require another 283 runs to make India bat again.
Umpires: B Oxenford, R Tucker; TV – S Ravi.