Tendulkar misses milestone, India beat Windies

NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – Sachin Tendulkar’s sparkling 76  secured India’s five-wicket victory in the first test against  West Indies today while prolonging his agonising wait for  his 100th international century.
Statistically the greatest cricketer with 33,000-plus runs  in international cricket, Tendulkar, who passed 15,000 test runs  yesterday, looked set for the triple digit mark before  leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo trapped him leg before.
The 38-year-old batsman departed after a fluent 148-ball  knock, studded with 10 crisp boundaries, but not before laying  the foundation for a much-needed win for India, who lost their  top test ranking after a 4-0 whitewash in England.
Vangipurappu Laxman (58 not out) also chipped in with a  half-century as India, resuming on 152 for two wickets, chased  down the 276-run victory target just after the lunch break with  the loss of five wickets.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was named man of the  match for his nine-wicket haul in his debut test, while left-arm  spinner Pragyan Ojha finished with seven wickets.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was naturally delighted  with the performance of the team’s relatively inexperienced  bowling unit.
“It was not an easy wicket to get the batsmen out. Ojha  bowled really well in the first innings and Ashwin in the second  innings,” he said.
“It was not that Ashwin got a lot out of the wicket. It was  his variations that helped him. He was flighting the ball nicely  and at the same time he got the carrom-ball and the top-spinner  which also worked.”
West Indies badly needed a couple of early breakthroughs in  the bowler-dominated test where 32 wickets fell on the first  three days and Fidel Edwards made early inroads when he  disturbed overnight batsman Rahul Dravid’s (31) stumps in the  second over of the day.
“We always had hope… we got an early wicket before Laxman  came and batted really well with Sachin. They took the game away  from us,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said.
Tendulkar found the boundary regularly and Sammy and his men  were up against the skill and experience of a man whose  individual test aggregate is greater than the whole West Indies  team put together.
Tendulkar brought up his 62nd test fifty before Bishoo sent  him back, much to the disappointment of the 5000-odd crowd that  had gathered at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in hope of  witnessing his 100th international century.
Laxman made sure India scored the 124 runs they needed on  the fourth day to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The wristy right-hander elegantly flicked off his pads  whenever the rival bowlers strayed and also drove with elan.
Laxman took a single off Kraigg Brathwaite to score the  winning run.
Ojha and Ashwin claimed 16 of the 20 West Indies wickets  that fell in the match and Sammy conceded they would have to  find a solution soon.
“(Playing) spin has been a problem for us. Losing 15 wickets  for 220-odd runs, last five in the first innings and all in the  second…we need to find a way to score against spin bowling,”  Sammy said.
Kolkata hosts the second test from Nov. 14, while the third  starts on Nov. 22 in Mumbai.

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