Windies hold edge over India

2011-11-07 15:30

New Delhi - Captain Darren Sammy stood out with an incisive spell of pace bowling on Monday which helped the West Indies take a useful 95-run lead over India at the close of the second day of the first test at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium.

The pace bowler took three wickets in 11 deliveries to finish with 3-35 as India was dismissed for 209 in reply to West Indies' first innings score of 304.

In their second innings, the West Indies were 21-2 as India's move of opening with spin bowlers paid off.

Openers Kraigg Brathwaite (2) and Kieran Powell (0) were removed by Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin as 17 wickets fell on a day that saw the ball keep low on some occasions.

But the one period in which West Indies took command featured Sammy producing his timely strikes.

He helped seize the initiative after leg-spinner Devender Bishoo had done the early damage with two wickets. Pace bowler Ravi Rampaul later came on to take two more wickets and also end Rahul Dravid's (54) brave resistance.

Sammy had Yuvraj Singh caught in the covers for 23 before removing Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin without scoring.

Dhoni was bowled bat-pad, while Ashwin was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Cartlon Baugh, who had a memorable day as he also made a smart stumping to remove Virender Sehwag and helped Bishoo take his first wicket.

India had been given a brisk start of 89 in only 12.3 overs by Sehwag and Gambhir but their unusual dismissals triggered a flurry of wickets.

"We were prepared for the attack from Sehwag and Gambhir with the new ball," Sammy said. "But we were prepared with a plan with the old ball, looking to bowl in the right areas."

Gambhir, after making a run-a-ball 41 with seven fours, was run out when bowler Sammy deflected a straight drive from Sehwag on to the stumps with Gambhir backing up too far.

Sehwag, who had earlier been bowled by pace bowler Fidel Edwards off a no ball when on 11, was stumped when he tried a halfhearted pull off Bishoo from within the crease.

Baugh's stumping came at the precise time when Sehwag's right foot was in the air as the batsman tried to regain balance.

"It is a good batting wicket, there is nothing wrong with it," Sehwag said. "There were some soft dismissals and I felt it was my mistake at the way I got out."

India encountered another setback when Tendulkar, seeking his 100th international century, was trapped lbw by Edwards with a delivery that came in.

Laxman too fell cheaply as he chased a delivery from Bishoo to edge it to Baugh as India slipped from 89-0 to 120-4.

Earlier, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha produced a career-best haul to help bowl out the West Indies.

Ojha finished with 6-72, striking in his opening two overs to trigger a collapse after the West Indies resumed the day at 256-5.

He had overnight batsman Baugh (27) and captain Sammy (5) trapped lbw in successive overs.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 111 overnight, was also out lbw, to paceman Ishant Sharma after scoring 118 off 196 balls with seven fours and two sixes.

Chanderpaul, who had completed his seventh century against India and 24th overall with some positive batting on the first day, seemed to go into his shell on Monday and was finally dismissed while trying to tuck the ball to the leg side.

Ojha, whose previous best in Tests was 4-107 against New Zealand in Ahmedabad last year, bowled a tight line to continue the form that saw him take three wickets on the opening day.

Ojha, the senior spinner after Harbhajan Singh was dropped, was brought into the attack after debutant pace bowler Umesh Yadav failed to impress in his three-over spell in the morning.

Off-spinner Ashwin dismissed Rampaul, the fourth lbw dismissal of the morning, before Ojha had Edwards caught by Sehwag at point to wrap up the innings.

Sehwag said the team was capable of chasing a challenging target.

"The match is evenly poised at this stage. We are confident of chasing a target of up to 250 or 300," Sehwag said.