He may not be the fastest bowler of the country like Umesh Yadav or Varun Aaron but Bengal boy Shami Ahmed’s speeds of 140 kmph was just enough to demolish a weak West Indian batting line-up for a second time in the Eden Gardens Test Match. India thanks to Sami’s perfect use of the reverse swing on an abrasive pitch wrapped up an innings victory inside three days. Poor Sachin Tendulkar was deprived of a second and last chance of batting at the Eden Gardens as the West Indies shockingly collapsed in their second innings.
The third day’s play saw the overnight pair of centurion Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin carry on from where they had left the other day. Showing immaculate patience and hunger to score runs, the pair went along towards the individual milestones. First, Ashwin who started the day on 92 got to his 2nd Test century. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner has got his two Test centuries at this same venue and against the same opposition. Rohit Sharma at the other end got past a 150 on Test debut and was well in sight of a double century in his very first innings of his Test Career. However, an error of judgement saw him pad up to a flattish delivery from Veerasammy Permaul which was angling in towards the off stump to be given out lbw. Rohit Sharma settled for 177 which is 10 runs behind Shikhar Dhawan’s 187 on Test Debut against the Aussies earlier this year. (Check here for highest individual scores on Test Debut)
Rohit’s 177 came in 301 balls with 23 fours and a six, and his partnership with R Ashwin was a mammoth 280 for the 7th wicket, which is a new Indian record. R Ashwin was dismissed soon after Rohit’s exit after getting bowled round his legs in a sweep shot off Shane Shillingford. The 27-year-old came up with a career best of 124 from 210 balls with 11 fours. India was bowled out before lunch for 453 to finish with a first innings lead of 219 runs. Shane Shillingford toiled hard for his 5th five-wicket haul in just his 11th Test. The offie who seems to have a suspect bowling action sent in as many as 55 overs to take 6 for 167.
When Chris Gayle found the middle of his bat, the feeling was that India’s first innings lead could come down very quickly and the West Indies will be the team that will reverse the pressure. However, a moment of madness saw Chris Gayle drag a pull from way outside off to a cleverly bowled rare bouncer from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. India were happy as Gayle was restricted to a small score of 33 from 35 balls with 7 fours.
With Gayle’s exit, India had the control of the run flow and by Tea time, collected two more wickets. The final session saw a dramatic collapse from the tourists as Dhoni brought in Mohammed Shami with the reversing old ball. In one over, three wickets fell all courtesy of the reverse swing from Shami although one of them was a run out. The West Indians had no clue at all to the low bouncing skidding inswingers and like in the first innings, old war horse Shivnarine Chanderpaul was left stranded at one end. Chanderpaul played for himself, remaining unbeaten 31 from 60 balls while watching all the ruins at the other end.
Mohammed Shami captured 5 for 47 in just 13.1 overs while R Ashwin bowled a satisfactory spell of 3 for 46 in 19 overs. West Indies folded to 168 with their innings lasting only 54.1 overs. Rohit Sharma was the Man of the Match and Mohammed Shami recorded fabulous figures of 9 for 118 in his debut Test. (Check here for Best Bowling Performances on Test Debut).
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