KOLKATA, India – Marlon Samuels showed a glimpse of his exceptional talent but West Indies had their rustiness at Test level exposed today, as debutant seamer Mohammad Shami triggered a collapse to give India first-day honours in the opening Test at Eden Gardens.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, West Indies were cruising at 138 for two but collapsed to 234 all out, after losing their last eight wickets for 96 runs, about an hour
Samuels hit the top score of 65, veteran left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul got 36, while left-handed opener Kieran Powell made 28; but Shami grabbed four for 71
from 17 overs, to ruin what appeared like a promising day
for West Indies.
Stylish left-hander Darren Bravo, who made 23, put on 91 for the third wicket with Samuels after the Windies slipped to 47 for two, but once both batsmen fell in successive overs, the visitors’ innings went into decline.
The Windies then failed to remove either left-hander Shikhar Dhawan, not out on 21, or fellow opener Murali Vijay, not out on 16, as the Indians reached 37 without loss
The stylish Samuels was in cruise mode, reaching his 50 from 61 balls, when he guided left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha through square cover for a single in the second over
He was fortunate on 60, when wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain, put him down from an
under-edged cut off Ojha. He was bowled soon afterward, however, playing back to a well-pitched delivery from Shami which that kept low. The Windies batting stylist struck 11 fours and two sixes from 98 balls in 103 minutes.
West Indies then suffered a further setback, when Bravo was run out in a mix-up with Chanderpaul over a single in the next over, failing to beat Shami’s throw to Dhoni.
Denesh Ramdin was fortunate next delivery, when he edged his first ball, from Ashwin, just wide of slip for a boundary, but Shami bowled him for four in the following over, when he played too late on a delivery which moved back sharply.
Sammy came to the crease and endured a few tense moments with Chanderpaul against Shami to stem the fall of wickets. He managed 16 before he tried to collect his fourth four, off Ojha, and was caught inside the long-off boundary
to leave the Windies 172 for six.
To a tumultuous roar from the crowd, Shane Shillingford’s 40-minute resistance came to a momentous conclusion, when he was adjudged lbw for five playing defensively forward to Indian batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar to prompt tea with West Indies 192 for seven.
After the break, Chanderpaul batted with typical aplomb before Ashwin bowled him, when he played down the wrong line, and there was token resistance from the bowlers.
Earlier, Bravo and Samuels batted with typical flair before lunch in front a crowd that half-filled the vast stadium to be part of Tendulkar’s penultimate Test. They helped the Caribbean side overcome the setback of losing their openers in the first hour.
Samuels got off the mark when he glanced his first delivery from Shami to the deep fine leg boundary for four and unleashed a volley of typically stylish strokes.
He greeted Ojha with a six over long-on and a searing drive through cover off Bhuvneshwar Kumar just before the interval gave goose-bumps.
Bravo was far more sedate but no less at ease, and lofted Ashwin for a six deep into the crowd over long-off with his one stroke of violence before lunch.
Chris Gayle had earlier started tentatively but eased the nerves when he collected three fours from Shami’s third over. The big left-hander had a determined approach to his batting and moved serenely to 18 before Kumar squared him up to be caught at second slip from a thick edge.
Powell typically never looked troubled at the crease, confidently handling the new-ball pair of Kumar and Shami, and welcoming Ashwin into the attack with a lofted straight six off his third ball and a lofted on-drive from the final ball of the bowler’s first over.
But the lean left-hander was undone by the uneven bounce of the pitch, when he miscued a pull at a short delivery from Shami and was caught at mid-on.
With Roach nursing his sore shoulder, left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell made his Test debut, becoming the 297th Test player from the Caribbean.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
C. Gayle c Vijay b Kumar 18
K. Powell c Kumar b Mohammad Shami 28
DM. Bravo run out 23
M. Samuels b Mohammad Shami 65
S. Chanderpaul b Ashwin 36
+D. Ramdin b Mohammad Shami 4
*D. Sammy c Kumar b Ojha 16
S. Shillingford lbw b Tendulkar 5
V. Permaul c and b Ashwin 14
T. Best not out 14
S. Cottrell b Mohammad Shami 0
Extras (b4, lb7) 11
TOTAL (all out, 78 overs) 234
Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-47, 3-138, 4-138, 5-143, 6-172, 7-192, 8-211, 9-233, 10-234.
Bowling: Kumar 14-6-33-1; Mohammad Shami 17-2-71-4; Ashwin 21-9-52-2; Ojha 24-6-62-1; Tendulkar 2-1-5-1
INDIA 1st Innings
S. Dhawan not out 21
M. Vijay not out 16
TOTAL (without loss, 12 overs) 37
To bat: C. Pujara, S. Tendulkar, V. Kohli, R. Sharma, *+M.S. Dhoni, R. Ashwin, B. Kumar, Mohammad Shami, P. Ojha
Bowling: Best 2-0-15-0; Cottrell 5-2-13-0; Shillingford 4-2-8-0; Permaul 1-0-1-0
Position: India trail by 197 runs with all first innings wickets standing
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: R. Kettleborough (England), N. Llong (England)
TV umpire: V. Kulkarni (India)