Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

The most credible news source in Barbados

CMC photo

Little for Windies to show

July 14, 2023

CMC – West Indies had little reward after enduring a long, hard grind, while the Indian opening pair of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma made merry and carved out monumental hundreds to put their side firmly in control of the first Test on Thursday in Dominica.

Jaiswal was undefeated at stumps on 143, becoming only the third Indian opener and their 17th batsman overall, to score a hundred on debut, and Sharma, his captain, hit his 10th Test hundred of 103, and the visitors ended the second day on 312 for two, a first innings lead so far of 162.

Hamstrung by a slow Windsor Park pitch that also made run scoring difficult, the Caribbean side suffered a major setback to their bowling plans when burly off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall left the field before lunch and never returned after experiencing discomfort in his chest.

Outside of the last 15 minutes before tea when they snared Sharma and Shubman Gill, things looked practically hopeless for the home team for most of the day, and there are signs that more of the same will come on the third day on Friday with batting maestro Virat Kohli not out on 36.

“I thought it was a tough day,” West Indies bowling coach Kenny Benjamin said. “I believe we started well. We didn’t let them get away. We kept the scoring rate down to under three an over, and I believe we bowled some deliveries that I believe we could have gotten a couple of wickets.

“Things didn’t really go our way, but I believe all in all, we stopped stuck with it, even though that we only picked up two wickets. They didn’t score a lot of runs. The run rate was quite good, and I was quite satisfied that though it was a hard day, but I believe the guys stuck to their guns.”

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite used nine bowlers, after India continued from their overnight total of 80 without loss, and Jaiswal and Sharma filled their trough, putting on 229 for the first wicket, the highest opening stand for any Indian team playing outside of the Asian sub-continent.

Jaiswal swept his 215th ball, the first of the third over from hometown boy Alick Athanaze, to fine leg for a single to reach his hundred, and Sharma played a trademark cover drive to his 220th ball for his 10th four off the same bowler six overs later to reach only his second hundred in 27 Tests away from home.

Off the next ball, Sharma gloved Athanaze, playing in his debut Test, and alert wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva caught the rebound after he ran around the batsman to give the part-time off-spinner his first Test wicket, a dismissal that West Indies successfully reviewed to confirm.

The decision of Gill to drop down the order to No. 3 did not bear fruit at the first time of asking when he was caught at second slip – by Athanaze – three overs later off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, enabling the Caribbean side to sip tea in a slightly better frame of mind.

For the rest of the day, West Indies searched for another breakthrough and delayed taking the second new ball until the 101st over.

They wasted two reviews on Kohli, and when pacer Kemar Roach had an lbw appeal against Jaiswal turned down late in the day by umpire Richard Kettleborough that ball tracking technology suggested may have reaped them another success, they were none left to use, and the Indian pair added 72 unbroken before stumps.

Earlier, West Indies endured a fruitless toil before lunch, and India were within reach of taking first innings lead on 146 without loss, replying to the West Indies first innings total of 150.

West Indies bowled tighter than they did the previous evening, conceding their first boundary of the day in the 10th over of the session when Jaiswal pulled fast bowler Alzarri Joseph for his seventh four to reach 50 from 104 balls and give India their first century opening stand in 23 innings spanning in two years.

Cornwall created a few anxious moments for both batsmen, extracting sharp turn from the surface, but Sharma took a single off him to reach 50 from 106 balls shortly after the refreshments break.

The departure of Cornwall left a gaping hole in the Caribbean side’s attack that no one could adequately fill, and any pressure he created soon evaporated, and Jaiswal and Sharma took the opportunity to push the scoring along either side of lunch.

About The Author

Share this!