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Kingston Test: WI make slow start in response to India's 246

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 21, 2011 06:07 IST
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India were bowled out for 246 in their first innings on the opening day of the first cricket Test against the West Indies in Kingston on Monday.

At stumps on day one, the home team had scored 34 for one in reply.

Adrian Barath was unbeaten on 26, and giving him company was Ramnaresh Sarwan on two.

Lendl Simmons (3) was the lone West Indies batsman to be dismissed, Ishant Sharma having him caught by Murali Vijay.

Earlier, Suresh Raina (82) and Harbhajan Singh (70) scored majestic half-centuries to save India the blushes. The duo featured in an unbeaten 146-run seventh wicket stand to rescue India's sinking ship after they were reduced to 85 for six at one stage.

Fidel Edwards (4-56) put up a good late innings burst to polish off the Indian tail. Ravi Rampaul was also impressive, finishing with figures of three for 59.

Resuming at the lunch time score of 69 for four, India lost two wickets in a hurry to leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (3-75) and found themsleves in a spot of bother.

But Raina and Harbhajan were in no mood to give up without a fight and took the task to the opposition with some aggressive batting to take India beyond the 200-run mark at the tea break. 

At the second break of the day, Raina was unbeaten on 70, which came off 90 balls, inclusive of 13 boundaries.

Harbhajan, meanwhile, scored 67 runs off just 69 balls, during which he struck as many as 10 fours and a six. 

Earlier, India witnessed a top-order collapse and were in dire straits, losing four wickets for 69 runs by lunch.

The Indian batsmen found it difficult to come to terms with a two-paced Sabina Park pitch on an extremely hot day, as they lost both openers -- young Murali Vijay (8) and debutant Abhinav Mukund (11) -- as well as middle-order mainstay VVS Laxman (12) and another debutant Virat Kohli (4) in the 25.3 overs of the pre-lunch session. 

Electing to bat, India had a sloppy start to their innings. The home team tasted the first success as early as the fourth over when Vijay drove one straight to Bishoo at point off Rampaul.

The ever-reliable Dravid looked rusty initially, but later his footwork improved and he played several delightful strokes to promise a recovery in the afternoon, while Mukund was largely strokeless.

Mukund seemed to have a good judgment of his off-stump, but looked ungainly while trying to play the short-pitched deliveries.

His tendency to play away from his body proved costly when an inside-edge off Rampaul took his leg-stump out of the socket.

Laxman then joined Dravid at the score 30 for two after 11 overs, as the visitors decided to hold back another debutant, Virat Kohli, from getting his baptism in difficult conditions.

For Laxman, it was only the seventh time in his distinguished career that he batted at the number four position. He was distinctly lucky facing his very first delivery from Darren Sammy, which he edged but the ball fell short of first slip.

The stylish Hyderabadi batsman got another lifeline in the 20th over, at the personal score of five, when Rampaul dropped a difficult chance at mid-on off Edwards.

But His luck ran out when Bishoo dismissed him with his first delivery. He was caught in the slips by Sammy as he went forward to a tossed up leg-break from Bishoo that spun and took the edge.

New-man in Kohli opened his account in Tests in style, flicking Edwards down to the fine leg boundary. But the West Indies pacer had his revenge in the next over when he forced Kohli to edge one to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh. It drew curtains on the first session of the day.

Soon after lunch, Bishoo was struck for two off-side fours by Rahul Dravid (40) but a tossed up delivery in the same over earned the little leg-spinner his revenge. The young spinner also had captain M S Dhoni caught for a duck before Raina and Harbhajan did the repair work.

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