India vs. West Indies Day 5 Preview
India was bundled out in a short period of time on Day 4 to the credit of Fidel Edwards. The fast bowler was struggling with consistency throughout the series but he hit the right notes in the morning session. He got the crucial wickets of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh and made sure that no more consequential partnerships were built. Praveen Kumar stretched India’s lead to 143 runs with a quick-fire 23. Fidel Edwards finished with five wickets for the innings. This performance came at an important time as West Indies were without Ravi Rampaul throughout the innings.
Ishant Sharma has been on the right side of things throughout the series. He got the first breakthrough for India with a full length delivery that might have been punished on any other occasion. At the same time, it was a wholly unnecessary shot attempted by Powell given the circumstances. India’s slip fielding has been praiseworthy on this tour and Suresh Raina gladly accepted the catch on third slip. Praveen Kumar threw the next blow and dismissed Adrian Barath in the very next over reducing West Indies to 10/2. Harbhajan Singh exhibited signs of restoration of form as he followed an absolute ripper with a tossed up delivery to Darren Bravo to dismiss him. He was caught by Praveen Kumar at long off.
Three early wickets meant that West Indies faced the possibility of an ugly innings defeat. Kirk Edwards grabbed this opportunity with both hands and along with Shivnarine Chanderpaul steered the team out of India’s lead. Kirk Edwards and Chanderpaul participated in a hundred run partnership that was the first for West Indies in this series. Edwards played some wonderful cricket shots on his way to a century. The debutante became the 13th West Indian to score a century on debut. The partnership was helped by Rahul Dravid who dropped a sitter and a sharp chance standing at first slip.
In the aftermath of Edwards’ ton, Harbhajan Singh came around the wicket and tossed one delivery in the rough extracting more than usual bounce to get an edge of his bat. Dhoni completed the rest of the work and India breathed a sigh of relief. Harbhajan completed India’s comeback by sending Marlon Samuels back to the pavilion for a duck. Carlton Baugh and Shivnarine Chanderpaul looked good to play out the rest of the day but Praveen Kumar had different ideas. He used the new cherry to great effect and got Baugh caught out at short cover in the last over of the day.
West Indies leads India by 81 runs and Shivnarine Chanderpaul is occupying the pitch on 73. West Indies can only hope to save this Test match whereas India will look to tighten the screws in the morning session. India would like to constrain their chase to a maximum score of 150.