India humiliate West Indies at Eden Gardens

Kolkata : Darren Bravo’s valiant century went in vain, as India fashioned a thumping innings and 15 runs win over the West Indies to wrap up the second cricket Test on the fourth day and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series here Thursday.

After putting up a spirited fight, the visitors, following-on, were all out for 463 in their second innings eight minutes before the scheduled tea break at the Eden Gardens. The Caribbean team had been bundled out for 153 in their first knock in reply to India’s mammoth 631 for seven declared.

Young pacer Umesh Yadav emerged the most successful Indian bowler with four wickets for 80 runs, to take his match haul to seven. Fellow quickie Ishant Sharma and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha took two scalps each, making the third Test in Mumbai beginning Nov 22 only of academic interest.

Resuming at the overnight score of 195/3, the Caribbeans fought with grit and determination as Bravo authored a balanced 136 (321 mins, 230b, 16×4, 4×6) and was involved in two century plus partnerships – 108 for the fourth wicket with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (47; 133 mins, 47; 94 b, 6×4) and 132 for the fifth alongside Marlon Samuels (84; 136 mins, 111 b, 13×4, 1×6).

However, once Bravo got out 53 minutes after lunch with the score reading 401, the West Indies resistance collapsed. The last six wickets fell for only 62 on the board.

The Brian Lara prodigy seemingly benefited from an umpiring error while on 119. He inside edged to his pad and the ball ballooned into the hands of Gautam Gambhir at short leg, but umpire Bruce Oxenford turned down the appeal. Television relpays later showed that he was out. Bravo, however, departed by poking at a straight delivery from Ojha and the outside edge finished in the hands of Rahul Dravid at first slip.

Carlton Baugh (3) then departed to the same Ojha-Dravid combination, before Ashwin got a vicious turn to beat Samuels’ bat and find him plumb before the stumps.

Ashwin proceeded to devour Kemar Roach (1), before West Indies skipper Darren Sammy played a cameo (32; 37 minutes, 28 balls, 1×4, 3×6) to strike up a brief 42-run stand with Fidel Edwards (15 not out).

It was then left to Yadav to uproot the stumps of Sammy and Devendra Bishoo (0) of back-to-back balls to bring the match to an end and trigger cheers among the 12,000 odd crowd.

Bravo got to his second hundred in 12 Tests with a boundary off Yadav past third-man. The mark was reached facing 181 deliveries in 240 minutes with 10 fours and four sixes. His maiden ton – 195 – had come against Bangladesh in Dhaka last month.

However, in the morning, the fightback started with Bravo and Chanderpaul, with the visitors resuming at 195/3 – 283 runs short of stopping India from an innings victory.

Bravo and Chanderpaul played with lot of grit and determination against the double spin attack of Ashwin and Ojha. They rotated the strike and played with supreme caution, perhaps keeping in mind the side’s collapse in the first innings in the morning session Wednesday.

Only two boundaries came in the first 11 overs, while Bravo was lucky to survive being run out on 54. He went halfway down for a run but Chanderpaul did not back up. However, Gautam Gambhir’s ill-directed throw to keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave the batsman time to regain his crease.

Skipper Dhoni opted for pace after 10 overs, introducing Ishant, while Yadav joined the action eight overs later, triggering a debate as to whether they should have been brought on earlier.

The new ball was taken in the 81st over – the 19th of the morning – and soon after the Indians managed to break the partnership.

Yadav got success in his very second over, as Chanderpaul – who had to to be attended by the physio for cramps a short while previously – went on the backfoot to a short length delivery bowled at over 140 km and inside edged onto his stumps. The Guyanese had hit a boundary off the previous ball.

Samuels, who joined the action, was immediately struck on the body by Yadav in the next ball as he ducked, anticipating a bouncer.

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