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Chanderpaul and Samuels hold fort for the Windies

S. Dinakar

— Photo: AFP

PROBING SPELL:Ishant Sharma, who troubled the batsmen with his off-stump line and bounce,

Bridgetown (Barbados): The West Indies batsmen would not be short of inspiration at the hallowed Kensington Oval. There is greatness all around.

The Worrell, Weekes and Walcott stand, the Greenidge and Haynes enclosure and the Gary Sobers pavilion circle the players in the arena. But then, nothing it seems can lift the level of batsmanship of the home batsmen in this series. After the bowlers had performed a commendable job to dismiss India for 201, the West Indies was 98 for five with an hour and 22 minutes (play had been extended in the second session to make up for lost time) to go for tea on a rain-interrupted second day of the second Digicel Test here on Wednesday.

When rain came down hard, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (20) and Marlon Samuels (21) were at the crease. The sixth-wicket pair has put on 41 runs so far in a crucial association.

Lively track

The pitch appeared slightly damp and the conditions were bound to test the batsmen. The West Indies continued to lose ground on a lively track under a cloud-cover before Chanderpaul and Samuels offered the innings a measure of stability.

Ishant Sharma probed the batsmen with his off-stump line and bounce. He also bowled intelligently and mixed his length. Some of his deliveries shaped away, others darted in.

It was the change in trajectory – Ishant slipped in a fuller delivery after bowling short – that resulted in the dismissal of Ramnaresh Sarwan. His feet movement disrupted, the struggling Sarwan was caught at the crease.

Earlier in the over, Ishant had prised out nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo. The delivery moved away from the left-hander who steered the sphere into gully. Pressure

Praveen, relishing the cloud-cover, sent down some lovely outswingers and the batsmen played and missed. He also troubled Samuels with the odd ball that moved in. Pressure was maintained from both ends. On an eventful first day, V.V.S. Laxman's temperament and quality came to the fore.

The elegant right-hander's 146-ball 85 under pressure enabled him reach 8000 runs in Tests.

The West Indies bowling came back strongly though as India lost its last six wickets for 46 runs. A fired-up Fidel Edwards and crafty leg-spinner Bishoo triggered an Indian collapse from 155 for four.

Raina fined

Meanwhile, Raina was fined 25 per cent of his match fee for a Level I breach in ICC's Code of Conduct on the first day of the second cricket Test against West Indies here on Tuesday.

According to a release issued by the ICC, the batsman was found to have breached Article 2.1.3 of the code which relates to “showing dissent at an umpire's decision by action or verbal abuse”.

According to a release issued by the ICC, the batsman was found to have breached Article 2.1.3 of the code which relates to “showing dissent at an umpire's decision by action or verbal abuse“.

Pleading guilty

After first day's play concluded, the left-handed batsman pleaded guilty and accepted the proposed sanction offered to him by match referee Chris Broad.

India — 1st innings: A. Mukund c Samuels b Rampaul 1 (9b), M. Vijay c Baugh b Rampaul 11 (75b), R. Dravid c Baugh b Sammy 5 (24b), V.V.S. Laxman c Barath b Bishoo 85 (146b, 12x4), V. Kohli c Sammy b Rampaul 0 (2b), S. Raina c Barath b Bishoo 53 (105b, 7x4), M.S. Dhoni c Chanderpaul b Edwards 2 (13b), Harbhajan c Barath b Edwards 5 (13b), Praveen Kumar st. Baugh b Bishoo 12 (18b, 2x4), A. Mithun b Edwards 0 (6b), I. Sharma (not out) 1 (6b); Extras (b-5, lb-4, w-11, nb-6) 26; Total (in 68 overs) 201.

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Mukund), 2-8 (Dravid), 3-38 (Vijay), 4-38 (Kohli), 5-155 (Raina), 6-167 (Dhoni), 7-183 (Harbhajan), 8-187 (Laxman), 9-189 (Mithun).

West Indies bowling: Edwards 19-2-56-3, Rampaul 16-6-38-3, Sammy 19-4-52-1, Bishoo 14-1-46-3.

West Indies — 1st innings: A. Barath c Kohli b Ishant 3 (17b), L. Simmons c Dhoni b Praveen 2 (10b), R. Sarwan lbw b Ishant 18 (43b, 2x4), D. Bravo c Dhoni b Mithun 9 (21b), D. Bishoo c Kohli b Ishant 13 (18b 1x4), S. Chanderpul (batting) 20 (63b), M. Samuels (batting) 21 (58b, 3x4); Extras (lb-2, w-5, nb-5) 12; Total (for five wkts. in 37.3 overs) 98.

Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Barath), 2-5 (Simmons), 3-30 (Bravo), 4-53 (Bishoo), 5-57 (Sarwan).

India bowling: Praveen 17-3-39-1, Ishant 10-4-31-3, Mithun 8.3-3-18-1, Harbhajan 2-0-8-0 .

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