After having set a target of 326, India has won the first test match by 63 runs and one day to spare! The West Indies team was sent back to the dressing room for 262 after batting in a pitch not conducive for batting.
The surface with inconsistent bounce was a bowler’s heaven and Indian bowlers needed to strike quick. The first session of the day was always an important one for the teams.
Praveen Kumar bowled a smart delivery from round the wicket to take Darren Bravo who left the leg stump exposed while trying to hit the leg side. He struck again taking Shivnarine Chanderpaul, caught by Suresh Raina at cover. Spinner Harbhajan Singh ripped a quick off-spinner to Carlton Baugh and was held at leg-slip. After powering Harbhajan for three successive sixers, Captain Sammy too was taken by Amit Mishra very soon.
Mishra took the advantage of the unpredictable pitch and delivered a short ball; Brendon Nash fell for it and was taken. The West Indies were losing the grip of the game.
Ravi Rampaul struck some brave blows and scored 34 but he was caught out by a brutal delivery from Ishant which had a considerable height. Rampaul even pointed to the umpires that it was the third bouncer of the over; but just like the ball the decision too was brutal.
Adrian Barath was dropped by Dhoni at 29 when he nicked an attempted cut off to an Amit Mishra ball. Lendl Simmons had contributed 27 runs to the opening partnership of 62 runs. This should have provided enough momentum to the hosts, but instead they lost control of the game. A good ball from Praveen and Suresh Raina held a sharp catch at third slip; just like that Barath was out. Ishant increasing his space bowled a straight one to Simmons and he was caught at the crease.
A 39 run partnership between Fidel Edwards and Devendra Bishoo was a promising and determined one. But the West Indies hopes were crushed when Suresh Raina’s off-spin took Bishoo’s wicket.
Rahul Dravid received the Man of the Match award for his hard earned innings of 112 runs .Amidst all this tension, things are looking good for Chris Gayle. The West Indies Cricket Board has written to star batsman Chris Gayle (as against the earlier decision) that it is interested in further talks with him. And the vice-president of the West Indies Players Association, Wavell Hinds, has said that Gayle was willing to apologize if necessary.