NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – India squandered a flying start on a bowler-dominated second day to concede a 95-run first innings lead to West Indies in the first test today.
Having bowled out West Indies for 304, India got off to a breezy, eventful start provided by openers Virender Sehwag (55) and Gautam Gambhir (41) who batted as if they were in a limited-overs game.
They added 89 runs in 12.3 overs before their batting line-up, with the glorious exception of Rahul Dravid (54), folded for 209 on a day when 17 wickets fell.
Ravichandran Ashwin and spin colleague Pragyan Ojha ensured India ended the day on a better note, removing Kieran Powell (0) and Kraigg Brathwaite (2) respectively.
Kirk Edwards (15) and Fidel Edwards (0) were in the middle when stumps were drawn with West Indies on 21 for two, having stretched their overall lead to 116 runs.
India started well with Gambhir, having nearly edged the first ball he faced from Fidel Edwards to the third slip, hitting the pacer for three boundaries in the over.
The southpaw got a reprieve in Edwards’s next over when Kirk Edwards dropped him in the slip and the bowler endured further heartbreak when he clean bowled Sehwag with a delivery that was adjudged a no-ball.
Gambhir ran out of luck in the 13th over when Sehwag’s straight drive brushed bowler Darren Sammy’s fingers. The ball then hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Gambhir out of the crease.
Sehwag took 36 balls to complete his 28th test half-century but was stumped off Devendra Bishoo while trying to guide a ball to the fine leg area.
Sachin Tendulkar (7) walked out to a rousing welcome from the sparse crowd at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium who were hoping to see his long-awaited 100th international century but Fidel Edwards removed him leg before to frustrate them.
Sammy compounded India’s crisis with a three-wicket burst, removing Yuvraj Singh (23) and the scoreless duo of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ashwin.
Dravid waged a lone battle in the tailenders’ company before a fluffed pull shot cut short his stay and Ravi Rampaul removed the last two Indian wickets with successive deliveries.
Earlier, Ojha (6-72) added three more wickets to his overnight collection to trigger a collapse as West Indies, resuming on 256 for five, lost the bottom half of their batting order in 17.2 overs for just 48 runs.
With little in the track for pace bowlers, India captain Dhoni brought Ojha into attack after seven overs and the left-arm spinner removed Carlton Baugh (27) and Sammy (5) in his first two overs to complete his maiden five-wicket haul.
West Indies got the biggest jolt when Ishant hit Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s (118) pad and umpire Kumar Dharmasena upheld the leg before appeal.
Chanderpaul’s 196-ball knock included seven fours and a couple of sixes.
Ashwin removed Ravi Rampaul (12) in what was the fourth successive leg before decisions of the morning and West Indies folded when Ojha had Fidel Edwards (10) caught by Sehwag.