Ishant Sharma captured his 3rd five-wicket haul in Tests to help India bowl out hosts West Indies for a modest 204 on what seems to be a placid pitch at the Windsor Park in Roseau, Dominica. It was another rain-hit day at this new test venue which has now seen around 97 overs lost so far in this match due to bad weather. The second day’s play saw just around 50 overs of play with once again the final session falling prey to heavy showers.
Tale of the Morning Session :
Scheduled to start 30 minutes early, Day 2 was delayed for nearly an hour due to light showers. Once play started, Munaf Patel broke the overnight stand for the 4th wicket when he had Shivnarine Chanderpaul edging him on the backfoot to the keeper in the 38th over. West Indies were now under immense pressure at 84 for 4 with Chanderpaul falling for 23 (from 59 balls).
The other overnight batsman Darren Bravo had to work extremely hard for his runs initially but his patience was rewarded with some juicy deliveries to drive. But he lost another partner in Marlon Samuels (9 from 23 balls) whose uneasy stay in the middle ended when he chopped an innocuous inducker from Praveen Kumar onto his stumps off the backfoot. West Indies from 99 for 5 in the 47th over finished at a better looking 128 for 5 in 55 overs by the lunch break.
Tale of the Afternoon Session :
There was a nice fighting partnership between Darren Bravo and Calrton Baugh which kept the scoreboard moving in the afternoon. It lasted till the 59th over when Ishant Sharma bowling from round the sticks got the ball to angle in and hold its line to force a tight Darren Bravo to nick him behind to the keeper. Bravo settled for 50 which came in 134 balls with 8 fours. His partnership with Baugh was worth 59 runs.
Darren Sammy, the Captain walked in and played his natural attacking game along with Carlton Baugh and all of a sudden West Indies were inching towards 200. Finally in the 68th over, Harbhajan Singh found a reason to smile as he got one to turn in and kick up sharply to catch a bat pad edge from Darren Sammy (20 from 23 balls with a four and a six off Ishant hit over long off). In his next over, Harbhajan had more reasons to celebrate as he captured his 400th Test Wicket when he had Carlton Baugh clean bowled. Baugh was looking to play a forcing cut shot but was cramped up by a flattish off break which turned in from outside off to hit the middle. Harbhajan with that became the third Indian bowler to get 400 Test Wickets after Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble. Harbhajan is the 11th bowler in the world to achieve the feat.
West Indies with the loss of Baugh were 200 for 8 in the 70th over. Ishant Sharma returned back to take the remaining two wickets with his short pitch bowling. First he got Fidel Edwards dragging his pull shot off a bottom edge onto the stumps and then last man Bishoo backing up and fending off a rising delivery onto the stumps. West Indies were bowled out for 204 in 76.3 overs with Ishant Sharma finishing with 21.3-4-77-5. Tea was taken with the completion of the innings.
Tale of the Final Session :
Both Abhinav Mukund (6* from 16 balls) and Murali Vijay (1* from 8 balls) negotiated four overs after Tea before rain hit the ground twice to play spoilsport. India closed the second day’s play at 8 for no loss. With just three more days left, this match seems to be heading for a stalemate with rain expected on a consistent basis at this venue.