Windies slump on day two
NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):
The Windies reverted to a familiar, albeit frustrating, theme here yesterday, producing a feeble batting effort to leave powerhouses India in control after the second day of the opening Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Replying to India’s first innings of 297, the home side were tottering on 189 for eight at the close, still 108 runs in arrears heading into today’s pivotal day three.
Roston Chase top-scored with an attractive 48, and Shimron Hetmyer got 35, but both were dismissed in a wretched final session, where the Windies lost five wickets and added 107 runs.
Much of the damage was done in the day’s final 25 deliveries when veteran seamer Ishant Sharma unleashed a devastating salvo to claim the wickets of Shai Hope (24), Hetmyer, and tail-ender Kemar Roach (0) to finish with five for 42.
Ravindra Jadeja had earlier led an India fightback with a valiant 58 as the visitors were dismissed on the stroke of lunch, after resuming the day on 203 for six.
Starting the morning on three, the right-hander struck six fours and a six off 112 deliveries in just over two and three-quarter hours to ensure that India added a further 94 runs in the first session before the innings closed.
The final score represented an excellent turnaround for the visitors, whose innings lay in ruins at 25 for three inside the first 45 minutes of Thursday’s opening day, after they were asked to bat first.
That miserable trend seemed poised to continue when left-hander Rishabh Pant added just four to his overnight 20 before edging seamer Kemar Roach (4-66) to captain Jason Holder at second slip in the morning’s second over.
But Jadeja stood firm, and crucially, added 60 for the eighth wicket with tail-ender Ishant, who made a valuable 19 off 62 balls to frustrate West Indies for the remainder of the first hour.
Ishant eventually perished half-hour before lunch, bowled by a slower ball from speedster Shannon Gabriel (3-71), and Mohammed Shami failed to score when he scooped the first ball he faced back to off-spinner Chase (2-58) in the next over.
Jadeja, however, put on a further 29 for the ninth wicket with Jasprit Bumrah (four not out) before finally top-edging a Holder short ball to wicket-keeper Hope running back.
Starting their reply after lunch, the Windies were propelled by the free-scoring left-handed opener John Campbell, who stroked 23 off 30 balls with four fours to inspire a 36-run opening stand with the obdurate Kraigg Brathwaite (14).
Almost against the run of play, Campbell became the first victim of the innings 40 minutes after the resumption when he inside-edged a half-hearted drive at a full length delivery from pacer Mohammed Shami onto his leg stump.
Chase attempted a rescue mission with Hope in a 42-run, fifth-wicket stand, striking five fours and a six in an innings lasting 74 balls and a shade over 90 minutes.
But with an eighth Test half-century in sight, he worked an innocuous delivery from Ishant off his pads and straight into the lap of KL Rahul at short mid-wicket to depart at 130 for five.
Hope put on a further 44 for the sixth wicket with Hetmyer before edging one from Ishant that straightened, to be caught low down by Pant, triggering a slide that saw the last three wickets tumble for just five runs.
Hetmyer, who struck three fours in a 47-ball knock, drove a return catch to Ishant three overs from the close, and Roach survived just three balls before edging to Virat Kohli at second slip.