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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Jaiswal, Rohit break Windies spine with tons as India reach 312/2 on Day 2


Yashashvi Jaiswal’s unbeaten debut Test hundred broke down the spine of West Indies, taking India’s score to 312/2 at stumps and extending the lead to 162 runs on Day 2 of the first Test match at Windsor Park here on Thursday.

West Indies were bowled out for a meagre 150 runs in their first innings with Ravichandran Ashwin picking up five wickets.

Jaiswal’s innings was embellished with a typical “Khadus” (brute) attitude of a Mumbai batsman as he stayed put for 350 balls for his unbeaten 143 and stitched up a record double century partnership with captain Rohit Sharma, who also cracked his 10th Test hundred.

West Indies picked up a couple of wickets in the second session, but apart from that they did not have anything to boast about in the final session.

In the first session, Rohit and Jaiswal played contrasting cricket, though they were kept in check by the West Indian spinners who got turn and bounce off the pitch. The Indian batsmen could fetch only 66 runs in 32 overs with Jaiswal managing to score only one boundary as he raced past his first half-century.

Rohit, in the flipside, was flamboyant smashing boundaries off pace and spin. He struck a six over midwicket off Alzarri Joseph enroute to his fifty.

Spinners ruled the roost in the second hour, troubling the Indian openers with turn and bounce. Rakheem Corwall and Co shouted loudly for caught-behind as the ball went past Jaiswal’s outside edge, but the DRS brought relief to the Mumbaikar as TV screens did not pick any aberrations.

Rakheem once again was unlucky as Rohit almost lost his wicket when he top-edged a bouncing ball, evading the fielder at backward square leg. Both the openers survived the testing phase and walked back unscathed for lunch.

In the post-lunch session, Jaiswal braced up for milestones as he became the 17th Indian batsman and third Indian opener to score a century on Test debut. His 229 runs partnership with Rohit also was the best opening stand for India against West Indies.

The duo reached hundreds, making it only the sixth instance of both Indian openers scoring centuries in the same innings of an away Test. And Rohit achieved this feat with Jaiswal after getting bombarded with short balls while Jaiswal carted away a few boundaries.

Soon after getting to his century, Rohit departed gloving Alick Athanaze to the keeper on a DRS referral. Shubman Gill, who preferred to bat No.3, was soon caught at second slip off Jomel Warrican, who bowled most of the overs in the absence of Rakheem who did not take the field due to chest infection.

Virat Kohli had jittery moments before Tea as he was almost caught at leg-slip off Warrican and survived a leg-before review earlier. He also survived yet another shout, but later settled down with Jaiswal to extend the lead as West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite delayed taking the second new ball as he employed nine bowlers in the innings.

Soon after taking the new ball which was overdue for 20 overs, Jaiswal was plumb in front off Kemar Roach, but the straight umpire negated it as West Indies had exhausted their DRS option.

Jaiwal punched a Joseph delivery for a boundary to take the third wicket stand with Kohli past the 50 runs mark. Kohli also came into the act and scored his first boundary through covers off Warrican.

Brief scores: West Indies 150 trail India 312/2 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 143*, Rohit Sharma 103; Alick Athanaze 1-33, Jomel Warrican 1-82) by 162 runs.

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