By BV Swagath
West Indies collapsed to an innings and 51-run defeat inside three days in the opening Test at Kolkata leaving the spectators and Television viewers deprived of watching Sachin Tendulkar bat for one last time. Debutant Mohammed Shami with his reverse swing ran through the West Indian batting line-up taking a five-wicket haul and finishing the Test with overall figures of 9 for 118.
India’s opening in the final session came very quickly with Darren Bravo (37 from 78 balls) failing to keep his cut shot down off a short but bouncy off break from Ashwin and was caught by the forward diving Rohit Sharma. Denesh Ramdin for the second time in the match got out to Shami, this time getting a bat pad edge to short leg to a reversing inswinger.
Skipper Darren Sammy had his middle stump uprooted by the same bowler with a banana inswinger in the 49th over. A ball later, Shane Shillingford lost his off stump to an inswinger. The very next ball, Permaul was struck on the foot by a reversing yorker but an obvious lbw was turned down. However, with the nervous Permaul hanging out of the crease looking at the Umpire, an alert MS Dhoni underarmed a throw to have him run out. Shami’s over produced three wickets as West Indies slipped to 152 for 8.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was stranded again and he had no intentions of shielding the tail-enders. No.11 Tino Best got out slogging R Ashwin to deep mid wicket and last man Sheldon Cottrell was cleaned up by a full ball from Shami. West Indies were bundled out for just 168 in 54.1 overs with Shami taking 5 for 47 in 13.1 overs. Rohit Sharma was given the Man of the Match award.
Update at Tea on Day 3: India made inroads in the West Indian second innings taking three wickets by Tea which included the big wicket of Chris Gayle. The tourists are on the backfoot at 112 for 3 in the 33 overs bowled in the afternoon session.
West Indies were given a promising start by Chris Gayle and the first innings deficit of 219 runs didn’t look that big once he got his eye in. Gayle though disappointed with a terrible pull shot off a surprise bounce from Bhuvneshwar Kumar which was bowled well outside off. The Jamaican got out for a cameo of 33 from 35 balls, caught by Kohli at squareleg in the 10th over.
India had to search for its second breakthrough as Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo settled quite well. Powell, who was dropped by Bhuvneshwar in a sweep off Ojha, was looking quite solid before he was lbw to Ashwin in the 31st over. The left-hander went back to an Ashwin drifter which stayed low to have him lbw in front of middle to end his knock of 36 from 83 balls.
Just at the stroke of Tea, India were lucky to get their third wicket when Marlon Samuels was wrongly given lbw to a Shami inswinger which was on the higher side and doing quite a lot in the air. West Indies have Darren Bravo batting well on 35* along with the vastly experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Update at Lunch on Day 3: India have been bowled out at the stroke of lunch for 453 to finish with a big first innings lead of 219 runs. Overnight batsman R Ashwin registered his second Test hundred while Rohit Sharma, who had an opportunity to score a double century on debut missed out on the rare feat.
The overnight pair of Rohit and Ashwin kept their concentration intact to add 90 more for the 7th wicket. Rohit was the first to get out on 177, when he was given lbw, offering no shot to an arm ball from Veerasammy Permaul. Rohit batted out 301 balls striking 23 fours and a six in his debut innings. His 7th wicket partnership with Ashwin was worth 280 runs! R Ashwin got out bowled round his legs after missing a sweep shot off Shane Shillingford with the latter finally getting his fifth wicket.
Ashwin got out after scoring 124 from 210 balls with 11 fours. Shillinford got his sixth wicket when he had Bhuvneshwar caught bat pad at slip and the final wicket of the Indian innings was taken by Permaul with Shami Ahmed leading the crease for a big hit and getting stumped. Shillingford finished with figures of 55-9-167-6.