India put Windies on back foot in first Test

North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Aug 23 (AFP/APP):India’s bowlers shared the spoils in putting the West Indies on the back foot at 82 for three in reply to their opponents first innings total of 297 at tea on the second day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday.

Pacers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma were the first to strike in removing openers John Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite after a deceptively bright start before Ravindra Jadeja added to what was already an excellent day for the all-rounder when he claimed the wicket of debutant Shamarh Brooks.

West Indies will resume in the final session of the day with Darren Bravo and Roston Chase seeking to build on a fourth-wicket partnership that is already worth 32 runs.

Jadeja had played the key role in extending India’s first innings as they were eventually dismissed on the stroke of lunch, the left-hander playing the dominant role as India added another 94 runs from their overnight position of 203 for six.

He was last out for 58, top-edging an attempted pull off home captain Jason Holder to give wicketkeeper Shai Hope his fifth catch of the innings.

Kemar Roach was the best of the West Indies bowlers with figures of four for 66 while fellow fast bowler Shannon Gabriel claimed three for 71.

It was Roach who gave the West Indies an ideal start to the day when he removed Rishabh Pant for 24, the attacking wicketkeeper-batsman offering a straightforward catch to Holder at second slip as India slipped to 207 for seven.

However, any hopes the hosts entertained of quickly polishing off the tourists’ innings were frustrated by Sharma, who defied the West Indies for over an hour in contributing 19 to a 60-run eighth-wicket partnership with Jadeja.

Sharma’s admirable defiance was eventually ended though by a slower delivery from Gabriel and Shami lasted just one delivery, being caught and bowled by Chase.

Jadeja was still able to get to the half-century mark, his 11th in Test cricket, before one attacking shot too many with last man Jasprit Bumrah at the other end terminated his contribution and the team’s innings.

His three-hour effort spanned 112 deliveries and was highlighted by six fours and one six.
Campbell stroked a succession of boundaries at the start of the West Indies reply only to be yorked in the first over from first-change bowler Shami.

Brathwaite’s typically phlegmatic occupation of the crease ended when Sharma held on to a catch off his own bowling and Brooks, taking on the challenge of batting at number three in his first Test innings, edged an attempted cut at Jadeja for Ajinkya Rahane to take the comfortable catch on the rebound off wicketkeeper Pant.