Sharma, Ashwin keep India ahead after Windies fightback

KOLKATA, India ,CMC- Shane Shillingford grabbed four wickets to lead a West Indies fightback but a seventh-wicket stand between Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin erased those gains as India remained ahead in the first test match here yesterday.

Off-spinner Shillingford grabbed 4-130 from 41 overs, but Sharma was undefeated on 127 and Ashwin  was unbeaten on 92 as India reached 354 for six in their first innings on the second day at Eden Gardens.

India lead by 120 runs with four wickets remaining in the first innings after West Indies were bowled out for 234 in their first innings on the first day.

Shillingford appeared to have brought the Windies back into the Test with his four scalps, as India stumbled to 120 for five at lunch.

Tino Best also put the visitors on the brink of taking firm control when he removed opposing captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni following a sixth-wicket stand of 73 with Sharma after the interval.

However Sharma and Ashwin put together 198 runs to take the game away from the West Indies.

Earlier, five wickets – four to Shillingford including soon-to-be retired batting megastar Sachin Tendulkar – left India reeling on 83 for five.

Shillingford bowled all but one over during the morning period from the High Court End (south), maintaining a tidy line outside off-stump and gaining enough turn to keep the Indian batsmen circumspect.

He made the breakthrough after India resumed from their overnight total of 37 without loss, when left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan played back to a delivery that kept low and was bowled off the inside edge for 23.

Shillingford’s constant pressure got the better of opener Murali Vijay and he was stumped for 26 from a clever piece of bowling, as the batsman moved down to smother the spin, he was deceived by a doosra, leaving India 57 for two.

The Dominican spinner had been dismissed the previous day by Tendulkar and he repaid the favour, when he had the batting kingpin lbw for 10.

Shillingford completed his morning work removing Virat Kohli caught off bat-pad at forward short leg for three, playing defensively forward to a delivery that spun sharply.

West Indies failed to make further headway, when Ashwin joined Sharma and they absorbed the pressure to put Darren Sammy’s men on the back-foot.

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