KOLKATA, India (CMC):
West Indies bowlers got a boost of confidence in unforgiving conditions before relatively unknown Parvinder Singh crafted a stylish half-century to lead an Uttar Pradesh (UP) fight-back in their tour match yesterday.
Permaul has taken 2-61 from 17 overs, and there was one wicket apiece for Darren Sammy, Sheldon Cotterell, and Tino Best, but Singh was unbeaten on 78, as UP reached 206 for five.
They were replying to the Windies' first innings total of 466 when bad light stopped play about 25 minutes before the rescheduled close, with 12 overs remaining on the second day of three in the match at the Jadavpur University Complex.
The visitors would have felt reassured when Uttar Pradesh stumbled to 96 for four about 10 minutes before tea, but Singh struck 11 fours and two sixes from 101 balls in just over two hours and featured in a half-century, fifth-wicket stand with Prashant Gupta to ease the home team's pain.
Permaul was the feature attraction in a half-century, ninth-wicket stand with Tino Best that extended West Indies' first innings to lunch, after Shivnarine Chanderpaul completed his 68th first-class hundred. Narsingh Deonarine failed to reach his 10th, and the Caribbean side stumbled to 383 for eight.
Permaul was not out on 46, Best made 35, Deonarine finished with 94, and Chanderpaul ended with the top score of 112, as the Windies batting took shape ahead of the first Test against Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side, starting this coming Wednesday at Eden Gardens on the other side of this eastern city.
It was a comforting sign for Caribbean side's head coach Ottis Gibson and accompanying chief selector Clyde Butts, although fast-medium bowler Imtiaz Ahmed threatened to spoil the fun, taking 5-117 from 25 overs to be the most successful UP bowler, and Rudra Pratap Singh, the discarded India left-arm fast bowler, claimed 3-86 from 24.3 overs.
The last hour and a half before tea then proved fruitful for West Indies, after the home team's openers Tanmay Srivastava and Mukul Dagar started confidently against the new ball.
But Cotterell made the breakthrough when Srivastava played back and across to a full-length delivery and bowled him for 23.
Permaul ended a period of attrition when he had discarded Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif caught at forward short leg for 16.
Best set Uttar Pradesh back further when he bowled opener Mukul Dagar for 42 and Arish Alam was caught behind from a top-edged cut off Permaul, as the home team reached 102 for four at tea.
After the break, the Windies bowlers were neutralised by the soft ball, flat pitch, and the batting of Parvinder, in particular, and Gupta, as they put on 107.
With not much happening for the visitors, Parvinder reached his 50 from 96 balls with a deuce to long-on off Narsingh Deonarine's uncomplicated off-spin before West Indies captain broke the stand, when Gupta was caught behind for 39, edging a loose drive about five minutes before stumps were drawn.
Earlier, Chanderpaul continued merrily, after West Indies resumed from their overnight total of 333 for four, following another hourlong delay to the start because of a wet outfield caused by heavy overnight dew.
The durable left-hander reached his hundred from 142 balls when he drove R. P. Singh through cover for four and typically looked set to bat all day until he played back and across to his 153rd delivery from fast-medium bowler Imtiaz Ahmed and was lbw. He struck 16 fours and two sixes in 198 minutes of batting.
Deonarine with whom he put on 197 for the fifth wicket seemed to get bogged down when the hundred mark was within reach before he, too, was trapped leg before playing back and across to his 129th ball, from Imtiaz. He collected 11 fours and three sixes from 193 minutes at the crease.
This precipitated another wobbly period for the batting, as Denesh Ramdin was bowled off-stump for two offering no shot to R. P. Singh and Sammy was caught at deep backward square leg for 10, becoming the last of Imtiaz's scalps.
Best came to the crease and greeted Imtiaz with a lofted six over long-off and beat Piyush Chawla, the discarded national leg-spinner and UP captain, to almost a pulp, putting on 71 for the ninth wicket with Permaul.
Best was caught at long-off for 35, giving Singh his final wicket before last man Sheldon Cotterell was run out for six on the stroke of lunch.