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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ashwin, Jadeja pack off WI for 150 as India reach 80/0 at stumps


Ravichandran Ashwin’s five-fer and Ravindra Jadeja’s three-fer packed off West Indies for a paltry 150, despite a valiant 47 by debutant Alick Athanaze on Day 1 of the first Test at Windsor Park here on Wednesday.

India’s debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal (40*) and captain Rohit Sharma (30*) reduced the deficit by 70 runs with an unbeaten partnership of 80 runs for the first wicket.

Rohit was lucky to have survived a loud appeal in the second over of India’s innings as the umpire’s call saved him. This aberration did not disturb him a bit. He swivell-pulled, and played a one-handed cover drive off Kemar Roach for boundaries.

Rohit’s debutante partner took 16 balls to open his account in Test cricket, cutting Alzarri Joseph for a boundary. Soon he took on the tall and burly Rahkeem Corwall, sweeping him for a boundary.

At occasions, Jaiswal was blunt in forcing a few shots off Cornwall, but Rohit executed a classy straight drive off Joseph and then deposited spinner Jomel Wariccan for a six in his very first over to get past 50 runs partnership.

An emboldened Jaiswal, after looking at his captain cut loose, he picked the lengths quickly to cut Cornwall and Warrican for a couple of boundaries. He also launched on to Jason Holder, piercing through covers for his fifth boundary, and then reverse-swept Warrican for a four in the last over of the day.

Mohammad Siraj and Jaydev Unadkat could not cause much damage while the West Indian openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul survived close to an hour before Ashwin sent them back. Chanderpaul was cleaned up trying to defend a drifter, and Brathwaite was caught trying to slog.

Jermaine Blackwood survived an India’s DRS call for a leg before shout in Ashwin’s over. Raymon Reifer fished Shardul Thakur outside the off stump, nicking to debutant Ishan Kishan who held on to his first Test catch as a wicketkeeper.

Jadeja scalped Blackwood just at the stroke of lunch break, thanks to a stunning catch by Siraj.

Thakur rapped Joshua Da Silva and opted for DRS, but the decision went in the batsman’s favour.

The wicketkeeper-batsman however walked back to the hut pretty soon as he nicked Jadeja’s ball close to his body.

Athanaze and Holder tried to steady the innings, with the former exhibiting some stylish shots in the mould of Brian Lara and slog-sweeping for a six, though Ashwin was getting more turn in the second session.

Siraj broke the partnership by getting Holder with a short ball. Ashwin then picked up his 700th international wicket by snapping up Joseph and his fourth of the match after getting Athanaze.

Cornwall banged a couple of boundaries off Ashwin soon after tea, while Roach gave company for a brief period. Roach became Jadeja’s third victim as he was trapped leg-before after India reversed the not-out decision by going for the DRS.

Warrican became Ashwin’s fifth wicket, lobbing a bat-pad catch to Shubman Gill, with third umpire Marais Erasmus as convinced of a clean catch.

Brief scores: West Indies 150 (Alick Athanaze 47, Kraigg Brathwaite 20; Ravichandran Ashwin 5-60, Ravindra Jadeja 3-26) lead India 80/0 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 40*, Rohit Sharma 30*) by 70 runs.

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