The ever-reliable Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored an unbeaten 91 and shared an unbroken 170-run partnership with Narsing Deonarine (83) as the West Indies posted a solid 333 for 4 against Uttar Pradesh on the opening day of their practice match, in Kolkata, on Thursday.
It was a good show by the visitors ahead of the Test series against India, as four of their batsmen scored half-centuries.
Chanderpaul and Deonarine (83) will resume their fifth-wicket partnership on Friday.
After Chris Gayle failed, Kieran Powell (64) and Darren Bravo (61) built the innings with a 112-run second-wicket partnership, but the Piyush Chawla-led UP side had a two-wicket burst which reduced the visitors to 149 for 3.
But Chanderpaul, who is eyeing a milestone 150th Test in Mumbai, again proved a thorn in the flesh, as he initially looked rock solid with his defence before taking on the UP bowlers. He hit 11 fours and two sixes.
There was some excitement in the air after Darren Sammy opted to bat and have first feel of the conditions, but Gayle's subdued knock lasted only 25 balls. He was beaten by an Imtiaz Ahmed in-swinger that stayed low before skidding on to his stumps.
The UP medium-pacer, who came in as the first change bowler, got rid of the explosive opener in a fine first spell of four overs that had three maidens and the prized scalp.
The day's proceedings began an hour late because of the dew factor, and an early lunch saw the West Indies on 37 for 1 in 14 overs.
The West Indies had a tentative start to their innings, as the UP bowlers extracted fine swing and the ball kept low.
But as the day progressed the wicket became easy to bat on. Good fortune too helped the visitors, as Bravo was dropped shortly after lunch by Ankit Rajput at mid-off off Chawla.
Bravo went on to scored a half-century from 63 balls in a brisk knock, while Powell took his time before also completing 50 in the second-wicket partnership.
Just when the tourists looked set for a big one, Chawla made a smart change, bringing in strike bowler R P Singh from the pavilion end.
The former India pacer broke the partnership in the second over of his second spell in the form of Bravo, who played on. Powell too followed suit in the next over, castled by off-spinner Arish Alam.
As for the bowling, the UP side looked ordinary barring Ahmed's first spell while captain Chawla, known for his 'googly', was easily negotiated by the Windies batsmen.
The West Indies picked some fringe players to give them an opportunity ahead of the two-Test series. They opted for left-arm orthodox Veersammy Permaul over an experienced off-spinner Shane Shillingford while in the pace bowling line-up Sheldon Cotterrell, who is yet to play a Test match, got a chance ahead of Kemar Roach.
In the batting, Kirk Edwards, who was been in sublime form captaining the ‘A’ side on the tour to India, was rested to give a chance to Deonarine.
West Indians (1st innings):
C Gayle b Imtiaz Ahmed 18
K Powell b Alam 64
D Bravo b Singh 61
M Samuels c Amir Khan b Imtiaz Ahmed 12
S Chanderpaul not out 91
N Deonarine not out 83
Extras: (lb 4) 4
Total: (for four wickets; 79 overs) 333
To bat: D Ramdin, D Sammy, T Best, V Permaul, S Cotterrell
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-145, 3-149, 4-163
Bowling: R P Singh 14-2-46-1, A Rajpoot 6.3-1-29-0, Imtiaz Ahmed 16-4-68-2, P Chawla 19-2-91-0, P Gupta 7.3-0-38-0, A Alam 16-2-57-1.
Uttar Pradesh: P Chawla, M Kaif, R P Singh, T Srivastava, M Dagar, Parvinder Singh, Amir Khan, A Alam, Imtiaz Ahmed, P Gupta, A Rajpoot.
Image: Shivnarine Chanderpaul