India crushes West Indies for its biggest test victory

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Associated Press

RAJKOT, India (AP) — India crushed West Indies in their first test by an innings and 272 runs on Saturday for its biggest margin of victory in test cricket.

The hosts dismissed West Indies for 196 runs just 20 minutes into the evening session on day three with left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav returning career-best test figures of 5-57.

Ravichandran Ashwin (2-71) and Ravindra Jadeja (3-35) shared the other five wickets as the spinners ran amok against West Indies.

Resuming after tea, the match lasted only another 35 balls. Jadeja trapped Sherman Lewis (4) lbw in the 49th over with Ashwin wrapping up proceedings 11 balls later as Shannon Gabriel (4) holed out in the deep.

India's previous biggest innings victory came in June when it beat test newcomers Afghanistan by an innings and 262 runs at Bengaluru within two days.

West Indies made 181 in its first innings after resuming on 94-6 Saturday and was asked to follow on.

"We cannot compare this with series (defeat) in England. That was a bigger challenge, and we knew the quality we have, we would dominate when playing at home again," India captain Virat Kohli said. "Our guys understand how to play in these conditions and were clinical. The West Indies' performance is not for me to speak upon. I am sure they will want to rectify their errors."

After India had declared on 649-9 in its first and only innings, it ran through the West Indies batting line-up in 48 overs to set up an imposing 468-run lead.

Resuming on 94-6, West Indies showed some fight as Roston Chase (53) and Keemo Paul (47) continued their seventh-wicket partnership from Friday evening and added 73 runs overall with some attacking batting.

Umesh Yadav ended the resistance when Paul fended off a bouncer in the 39th for a simple catch to mid-wicket.

The visitors unraveled quickly as Ashwin (4-37) ran through the tail. Chase and Sherman Lewis (0) fell in the space of four balls in the 44th over.

Devendra Bishoo (17 not out) threw his bat around to hit three fours before Gabriel was stumped off Ashwin to end the innings.

Kohli had no hesitation in sending the visitors back in and Ashwin, taking the new ball, made another breakthrough in the penultimate over before lunch having Kraigg Brathwaite caught by teenage debutant Prithvi Shaw at short leg for 10.

At lunch, West Indies was 33-1. After the break, Kieran Powell (83) tried to put the Indian attack to the sword with eight fours and four sixes in his 93-ball stay, reaching his sixth test half-century off 55 balls.

"I was surprised with the amount of high-risk shots that were played against the spinners," Ashwin said. "Maybe it was their strategy against our spinners, but it didn't work."

Powell added 47 runs for the second wicket with Shai Hope (17) and later another 41 runs with Chase (20) for the fifth wicket.

Yadav then took over.

He trapped Hope lbw and then Shimron Hetmyer (11) was caught flashing at short third man, an unnecessary shot. It became a quick triple blow when Sunil Ambris was stumped for a three-ball duck.

Yadav accounted for both Chase and Powell in the space of six overs, achieving his best figures in test cricket since 4-40 against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in 2017.

Jadeja and Ashwin struck late in the session to remove Paul (15) and Devendra Bishoo (9) respectively.

"India showed us how to bat and credit to them. Quite disappointed with this loss and we didn't get enough partnerships," said stand-in skipper Kraigg Brathwaite. "We did talk about being positive in our team meetings."

Shaw was named man of the match for his first test hundred. He scored 134 runs off 154 balls on day one and was the second-youngest Indian batsman to score a test century after Sachin Tendulkar.

"I couldn't have imagined my test debut like this ... I just wanted to play my natural game, like I do in first-class cricket," said Shaw.

The second and final test begins in Hyderabad on Friday.

Edited by Associated Press


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