October 6, 2002

A glut of runs for the West Indies on the final day

Staff Reporter

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, after toiling long and hard in the field yesterday at Bangalore, had some good news waiting for him at the end of the day - his selection into the national Test squad for the series against the West Indies. But that did not preclude for him another tiring outing on the final day of the Indian Board President's XI-West Indies tour game.

None of the bowlers, in fact, had anything to cheer about, as the West Indies simply pumped the attack for all the runs that could be had. The day started off a mite positively, with Lakshmipathy Balaji having Shivnarine Chanderpaul caught behind for 25. But as it proved, Chanderpaul would be the only batsman in the top seven not to reach 50, and no doubt he feels he has missed out.

Skipper Carl Hooper joined Ramnaresh Sarwan at the crease upon Chanderpaul's dismissal and showed his attacking intent almost immediately. To contrast Sarwan's slow-but-solid style, Hooper had his cuts and drives. He found the fence 10 times, three of those resulting in mighty sixes. When he was caught behind off Murali Kartik for 67 off 73, it came as somewhat of an anticlimax.

Sarwan, on reaching 140 off 340 balls, with 18 fours and a six, retired hurt, presumably to allow his fellow batsmen to have a hit before the first Test. And have a hit they did. Ryan Hinds too notched up a fifty, making 74 off 153 balls with nine fours and a six; he too retired hurt. Ridley Jacobs made 50 off 97 balls, but his innings had only four fours, perhaps too few to be expected from an inveterate shot-maker.

The misery was finally ended when the West Indies was on a mammoth 606 for four off 176 overs, with as many as three of the eight host bowlers going for more than 100 runs in the innings. As a contest, then, this fixture was a farce, but the tourists cannot but feel happy about their demonstrated batting prowess. Repeating it against the likes of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh is an entirely different matter, however, and that is what they must concentrate on doing when they take the field at Mumbai on October 9.