Sorry Windies hand In­dia largest-ever Test win

Stabroek News Sunday - - SPORT -

– A fa­mil­iar ca­pit­u­la­tion saw West Indies lose 14 wick­ets in just over two ses­sions, as In­dia romped to an em­phatic in­nings and 272-run vic­tory in­side three days of the open­ing Test here yes­ter­day to record their largest-ever win in Tests.

Re­sum­ing their first in­nings on 94 for six at the Saurash­tra Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium, West Indies were dis­missed for 181, nearly three-quar­ters of an hour be­fore lunch, with Ros­ton Chase con­vert­ing his overnight 27 into a top score of 53 and tail-en­der Keemo Paul hit­ting an ag­gres­sive 47.

Forced to fol­low on, West Indies stum­bled to lunch on 33 for one and then suf­fered an­other col­lapse there­after, to be bowled out for 196 – about 20 min­utes af­ter tea.

Left-handed opener Kieran Pow­ell hit an


at­tack­ing 83 while Chase chipped in with 20 but the In­dian spin­ners weaved a web around the tourists, fur­ther ex­tend­ing their 24year wait for a vic­tory on In­dian soil.

Kuldeep Ya­dav snatched five for 57 while fel­low left-arm spin­ner Ravi Jadeja picked up three for 35, with off-spin­ner Ravi Ash­win, who bowled the new ball, fin­ished with two for 71.

Once In­dia had piled up 649 for nine de­clared in their first in­nings on Fri­day, the game be­came one of sur­vival for the Windies but they lacked the re­solve to push the con­test into a fourth day, as the gulf be­tween the two sides was cru­elly ex­posed.

The tourists were handed some hope at the start of the day, how­ever, when Chase and Paul ex­tended their seventh wicket stand to 73.

Paul, in only his sec­ond Test, proved the ag­gres­sor, smash­ing seven fours and two sixes off just 47 de­liv­er­ies, af­ter re­sum­ing the day on 13.

Chase, too, re­mained pos­i­tive, mov­ing into the 40s with two leg-side bound­aries off Kuldeep be­fore rais­ing his sixth Test half-cen­tury with an­other two bound­aries off the same bowler a few overs later.

Paul looked a good bet for his maiden half-cen­tury when he failed to keep down a pull at pacer Umesh Yadam and tope­dged a catch to mid-wicket. Chase fol­lowed with 12 runs added, bowled off the in­side edge, at­tempt­ing to drive Ash­win and in the same over, debu­tant Sher­man Lewis played back and was also bowled by one he mis-read.

The right-handed Chase faced 79 de­liv­er­ies and counted eight fours.

When Shan­non Gabriel was stumped off Ash­win, the Windies were fac­ing a mas­sive deficit of 468 runs and re­quir­ing noth­ing short of a mir­a­cle to save the game.

There was no such di­vine in­ter­ven­tion, how­ever, and when Kraigg Brath­waite turned Ash­win into Prithvi Shaw’s wait­ing hands at short leg with one over to go be­fore lunch, the Windies were slid­ing again at 32 for one.

Pow­ell re­sorted to ag­gres­sion in an ex­cel­lent counter-at­tack­ing knock, fac­ing 93 balls and ham­mer­ing eight fours and four sixes. He put on 47 for the sec­ond wicket with Shai Hope who made 17 and a fur­ther 41 for the fifth wicket with Chase.

Hope again flat­tered to de­ceive, notch­ing a four and a six – the lat­ter a straight hit off Ash­win – be­fore mis­judg­ing the length of one from Kuldeep and fall­ing lbw on the back foot.

A slide then fol­lowed with three wick­ets fall­ing for 18 runs in the space of 23 balls to leave the Windies tot­ter­ing on 97 for four.

Shim­ron Het­myer’s (11) ill-judged heave at Kuldeep re­sulted in a catch at short third man and with­out a run added three balls later in the same over, Su­nil Am­bris was com­pletely up-ended by one that bounced for Rishabh Pant to com­plete a smart stump­ing.

Pow­ell, un­beaten on 21 at lunch, car­ried the fight to In­dia. He cleared the ropes at long on with Ash­win im­me­di­ately af­ter the in­ter­val and stroked Umesh Ya­dav to the long off bound­ary to move into the 40s.

Left-handed opener Kieran Pow­ell drives en route to his top score of 83 in the West Indies sec­ond in­nings.

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