The first day’s honours of Day 1 of the Delhi Test were shared equally by both the teams with West Indies finishing at 256 for 5. While India managed to put a lid on the scoring rate right through the day’s play besides chipping in with five wickets on a relatively flat pitch, West Indies looked stable thanks to an unbeaten 24th Test century from veteran southpaw Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The 37-year-old laid the foundation for West Indies with an impressive 108-run stand with teenage opener Kraigg Brathwaite who stayed 70 overs to score a patient 63 from 212 balls.
Batting first after winning the toss, West Indies got off to a quiet start before left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha made the first breakthrough for India in the 12th over. Ojha consumed the left handed Kieran Powell (14 from 40 balls) with a flat delivery that turned in just enough to beat the bat in a forward defence and strike the pad infront of middle to have the visitors at 25 for 1. Ojha struck again in the 24th over when he took a sharp return catch offered by the in-form Kirk Edwards (15 from 40 balls). The visitors went to lunch at 69 for 2 in 32 overs.
In the very first over after lunch, off spinner R Ashwin gave India the big wicket of the left handed Darren Bravo (12 from 21 balls) who went back for a flashy cut shot but only to get foxed by a well disguised arm ball which made a mess of his stumps. It was 72 for 3 in the 33rd over when the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul joined the young Brathwaite. Chanderpaul brought some momentum to the innings and along with Brathwaite looked difficult to be dismissed. By Tea, West Indies moved safely to 159 for 3 in 64 overs with both the batsmen past their fifties.
The final session saw West Indies getting pushed back as India took two quick wickets that of Brathwaite and then Samuels. Kraigg Brathwaite (63 from 212 balls with 4 fours) was stumped by an agile Dhoni when the former had overbalanced in his forward defence having got beaten by the turn and bounce extracted out of nowhere by Ojha. This stumping made MS Dhoni the most successful Indian wicket keeper in Tests with 200 Test dismissals. Within no time, Marlon Samuels was forced to edge a quicker straighter one from R Ashwin.
West Indies slipped to 200 for 5 in the 78th over when Wicket Keeper Calrton Baugh joined Chanderpaul. The duo got through a fighting partnership to carry the tourists to 256 for 5 in 91 overs. Baugh helped himself to 19* from 45 balls while Chanderpaul was unconquered with a breezy 111* (from 167 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes).
It wasn’t a bad bowling display at all by an attack that was completely inexperienced from India. There were two debutants in the Indian team with speedster Umesh Yadav who clocked 147.9 kmph and R Ashwin who got two key wickets. The best bowler was the under-rated Pragyan Ojha who picked up three wickets.