India Vs West Indies: 2nd Test Review




India vs West Indies: 2nd Test Review

India vs West Indies: 2nd Test Review

The second Test match between India and West Indies got underway at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, under overcast skies and the home captain Darren Sammy won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first. West Indies brought in Marlon Samuels for the dropped vice-captain Brendan Nash and India brought in pacer Abhimanyu Mithun for leggie Amit Mishra.

The juice in the wicket was exploited early as Ravi Rampaul struck in his first over removing opener Abhinav Mukund. A tough time for Rahul Dravid and Murali Vijay, with some hostile bowling particularly from Rampaul, resulted in a loss of concentration of India’s No.3 and he lost his wicket to captain Darren Sammy. Vijay’s 75 ball vigil earned him his toughest 11 runs of his career before he fell to Rampaul and when Kohli fell in the same over India were reduced to 38-4. The rescue act came again from Suresh Raina, this time ably supported by Laxman, as they counter- attacked to add 104 runs in the middle session. The tide turned again in the evening session as Raina was adjudged caught at short leg, and India collapsed from 155-4 to 201 allout. The West Indies momentum was cut short as India’s pacers removed both the openers and Darren Bravo, the latter to another doubtful decision. West Indies ended the day at 30-3 still 171 adrift.

Rain delayed the start of Day 2, but when play got underway, nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo and Ramnaresh Sarwan were both removed by Ishant Sharma, while Chanderpaul and Samuels ensured there was no further damage as they ended a rain curtailed day at 98-5. Day 3 brought more rain and another rain curtailed day. Chanderpaul and Samuels’ 78 run stand was broken by Abhimanyu Mithun, and some bold strokes by Darren Sammy brought down the deficit. However, a spate of quick wickets at the end, left Samuels stranded at 78, while Ishant Sharma’s 6-55, ensured India had a slender lead of 11 runs. The Indian openers took the score to 23-0 in the second essay, handing India a 34 run lead.

Day 4 saw Murali Vijay dismissed early in the piece, the Tamil Nadu opener having a horror series, while Dravid and Mukund built steadily. Mukund fell for a dogged 48, Dravid notched up his 60th Test fifty and Laxman brought up his second half century of the match as India ended Day 4 at 229-3, now 240 ahead. An intriguing final day was brought to life after MS Dhoni declared at 269-6, after Laxman fell for the second time in the eighties in the match, and set the hosts 280 to get in 83 overs. Openers Barath and Simmons started steadily, Simmons and Sarwan fell in quick succession, but when Barath fell at 55-3, another collapse was on the cards. Chanderpaul blocked 87 balls for his 12, but the partnership of the day came from Bravo and keeper Baugh, with the equation at one stage coming down to 102 runs from 117 balls, 5 wickets in hand, all three results were possible. A dogged Bravo fell for 73, Sammy fell 5 balls later and India now held the edge. But bad light had the final say, and the match was called off at 202-7.

West Indies will be happy that their batsmen finally stepped up. The series is still up for grabs as the scene shifts to Dominica. India will be ruing a missed opportunity but they recovered well after being dismissed for 201 on the first day.

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