PHOTOS: Disciplined batting gives Windies good platform
The West Indies' batsmen came up with an improved display to lay the foundation for a huge first innings total in the third and final Test against India at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
At stumps on Day 1, the visitors were 267-2 after a solid start by openers Adrian Barath (62) and Kraigg Brathwaite (68).
Kirk Edwards (65) and Darren Bravo (57) then took over from where the openers left and were undefeated at close of play.
Opting to bat first, Darren Sammy's men looked true to the task. The openers played patiently and to the merit of each delivery. Brathwaite and Barath added 137 runs for the first wicket, making the most of the easy-paced pitch.
The 2,000-odd spectators in the stands witnessed a great show of batting from the openers who got into the groove very early in the day.
In the second over, bowled by debutant Varun Aaron, Barath hit a cover-drive for the first boundary of the day.
Image: Adrian Barath plays a shot enroute his fifty
Brathwaite-Barath play patiently
Brathwaite decided to match his opening partner and scored a boundary off Ishant in the next over. He added another four to his name when the wayward Aaron bowled one to his pads.
The Indian bowling lacked sting and the first hour produced 36 runs in 12 overs, with Barath marginally outpacing his partner. Barath hit a cover-drive off Sharma for his fourth four to bring up the team's 50.
The Windies couldn't get their runs at a quick rate because of dew on the field and some tight bowling by the Indian pin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Ravinchandra Ashwin.Brathwaite, who hit eight fours, was less assured against the spinners and dropped on 57 by Vangipurappu Laxman, off Ashwin, at backward short leg.
Image: Kraigg Brathwaite plays a shot past India captain and wicket keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Indian bowlers disappoint
India's pace bowlers Ishant Sharma and Aaron failed to extract much movement in the morning, prompting Dhoni to introduce left-arm spinner Ojha as early as the ninth over.
Ojha and Ashwin, however, initially proved ineffective against the dogged approach of the openers, who frustrated the Indian attack for more than three-and-a-half hours before the hosts broke through.
Initially, Ojha got good turn off the track, but just couldn't find the elusive breakthrough.
He was replaced by Ashwin after an economical five-over spell and Brathwaite greeted the rookie off-spinner with a boundary off a pull.
Image: Dhoni (right) collides with the West Indies' Adrian Barath
Ashwin's double breakthrough before tea
Barath hit two fours off Ashwin prior to lunch when the off-spinner, who also secured some slow turn off the track, erred outside the off stump.
Ojha was the most economical of the lot, giving away just 16 runs in 11 overs in two spells, while Ashwin was the most expensive, conceding 22 runs in six overs.
Ashwin struck twice before tea to slow down the West Indies' progress. The leg-spinner found enough turn to account for both right-handed opening batsmen as the West Indies went into the tea break on 161 for two wickets, with Kirk Edwards (13) and Darren Bravo (4) at the crease.
Barath had looked solid in completing a second consecutive half-century after his 62 in the second innings in Kolkata, but departed when he edged Ashwin on to his pads for Dhoni to complete an easy catch behind the stumps.
Image: Ravichandran Ashwin (centre) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Barath
Bravo dropped by Dravid on 33
After being dropped on 57, the 18-year-old was dismissed, clipping an Ashwin delivery off his pads that went straight to Virat Kohli at short leg.
Following the dismissal of the openers, it took some forthright batting by Edwards and Bravo, to ensure that the visitors ended the day without any further damage.
Ojha was unlucky not to have dismissed Bravo on 33 in the team score of 230 for 2, when the left-hander edged a defensive prod to the left of lone slip fielder Rahul Dravid, who could not hold on to the ball despite getting both hands to it.India took the second new ball after 84.3 overs when the West Indies score was five short of 250.
Image: Darren Bravo
Half centuries to Bravo-Edwards
Edwards and Bravo did well to carry forward the hard work put in by the openers. They played patiently and gave the team something to show at the end of the day.
Both batsmen scored freely and this attitude rewarded them with half centuries.
Edwards's fifty was his third in Tests. The 27-year-old's 117-ball knock was inclusive of 10 hits to the fence.
Bravo, at the other end, completed his sixth Test fifty and third against India, includive of seven boundaries.
It's a great start for the visitors and captain Sammy will be hoping for his players to take the form to the second day.
Image: Kirk Edwards