West Indies Fight Back Through Chanderpaul




At the end of Day 1 in the first test match of the India-West Indies series, the honors appear to be shared. India had an upper hand till lunch with their spinners spinning a web around the West Indian top order but India’s nemesis was back to haunt them as Shivnarine Chanderpaul notched up a well compiled century finishing with an unbeaten 111 at stumps on the first day at the Kotla.

West Indies fight back through Shivnarine Chanderpaul

West Indies fight back through Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Going into the match India appeared clear favorites with the only drawback being the inexperienced bowling attack. All eyes were on Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin as they geared up to fill in the shoes of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh and they did not disappoint. With the Kotla track being typically itself, keeping slow and low, the pace bowlers could not extract much but the spinners were accurate enough and bowled 54 out of the total 91 overs and taking all the 5 wickets which fell.

With the third ball of the West Indies’ innings not carrying to the wicketkeeper, questions were raised as to how the pitch was going to hold up for the next 4 days to come as the West Indies top-order jumped onto the back foot and played defensively spelling their doom. First to go was Kieran Powell for 14 as Ojha struck for India. Next batsman in was Kirk Edwards who hit one straight back into the hands of Ojha as West Indies were reeling at 45 for 2.

Then it was the turn of the Indian debutant R. Ashwin to savour the taste of his first Test wicket as he bowled out Darren Bravo for 12 runs. Kraigg Brathwaite held one end together as he played out each delivery with focus and caution without letting the spinners get on top of him. He was then joined by Shivnarine Chanderpaul who proved himself as India’s adversary yet again. With the fast bowlers bending their backs and constantly hitting the 130 kmh mark, the West Indians had a huge task ahead of them to put up a decent total.

Kraigg Brathwaite idolizes Shivnarine Chanderpaul and their batting styles too are very similar and the duo denied India the advantage of wrapping up the West Indian innings for a meager total and stitched together a vital partnership of 102 runs when Brathwaite eventually fell for 63 runs as Marlon Samuels came in to join Chanderpaul. The Indian skipper MS Dhoni cleverly rotated his bowlers and the youngsters responded to him with a disciplined effort.

India will look to bowl out West Indies as fast as they can on Day 2 and start their innings atleast before the tea break. But with a man who has the highest runs for the Windies after Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul still in the crease, their work seems cut out as getting his wicket will be top priority for the Indians come Monday morning.

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