India v West Indies, 1st Test, New Delhi, 4th day November 9, 2011

Laxman, Tendulkar take India to comfortable win


India 209 (Sehwag 55, Dravid 54, Sammy 3-35) and 276 for 5 (Tendulkar 76, Laxman 58*, Sehwag 55) beat West Indies 304 (Chanderpaul 118, Brathwaite 63, Ojha 6-72) and 180 (Chanderpaul 47, Sammy 42, Ashwin 6-47) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

India raced through the longish home stretch of 124 runs to register their first win in seven Tests. Anchoring the innings was Sachin Tendulkar, who overtook Rahul Dravid as the leading run-getter in chases, and rushing through it was VVS Laxman, who calmed any nerves there might have been after Dravid's wicket early in the day. Along the way Laxman passed 1000 runs in chases, including an eighth score of fifty or more. It was also the third time since last summer that Laxman was in the middle at the successful completion of a 200-plus chase.

From the moment Darren Sammy slipped down leg twice in the first over of the day, going for eight runs, West Indies began losing whatever little grip they had on the match. Fidel Edwards rejuvenated them momentarily with a reversing inswinger to send Dravid back, but Laxman announced his arrival with two leg-glanced boundaries. Forewarned of the reverse, Laxman played late, without much back lift, and kept the accurate ones from Edwards out.

Helping India was the fact that Edwards, and West Indies as a bowling unit, didn't have the control to exercise the perfect mix of offence and defence required in defending mid-range totals. Laxman continued to ease India through the chase, and when he punched and flicked Edwards for two boundaries in the 56th over, they reached 200 and the contest was all but over. In the first hour of play India smashed 56 runs, including 11 fours. The possibility of Tendulkar's 100th international hundred - overnight he needed 67 out of the 124 India required - was a little thought in the corner of the mind, and that is where it seemed it would remain.

However, the last three of those 11 boundaries were hit by Tendulkar in successive Ravi Rampaul overs, a flick to square leg, a picture-perfect cover drive and a push - a mere push - through point. Tendulkar now needed 41 out of the remaining 67 runs, and with the game relatively secure Laxman eased up a bit. Tendulkar kept picking the boundaries, and Laxman singles, until the equation came down to 24 out of 43 runs required. Then Tendulkar went to pull a Devendra Bishoo googly, and was deceived by the low bounce. Rod Tucker made another correct lbw call in what has been a good match for him.

Along with Tendulkar went any thoughts of extending the first session to get a result before the lunch break. Laxman and Yuvraj Singh didn't want to do anything stupid.

Sammy removed Yuvraj with a shooter when the scores were level and he nearly got MS Dhoni with another grubber next ball, but that could only delay India's third-highest successful chase. West Indies were left with memories of the Jamaica Test earlier this year, when they had caught India cold but failed to convert it into a Test win.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 12, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    collis king must be Jamaican. M Samuels is an under achiever AND SHOULD BE DROPPED.

  • Wayne on November 11, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Marlon Samuels is short of runs, dropping him again before the end of the current series would be crazy. Samuels carried his bat for a superb 87 no in Barbados when the ball was swinging prodigiously, and had two atrocious lbw decisions in the third test in Rousseu. Not sure what he is doing batting down at number 6 when he should be at 3 or possibly opening.

  • narsimha on November 11, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    We should not be overjous by beating WI in HOME series .OUR real acid test willbe at AUSTRALIA even though we are one among few who challenged the mighty AUSSIES during thier HEYDAYS beating them home&away winning atest series in AUS is still elasive .Since our batting greates are on verge of retirements & the forth coming tour of AUS will be their last tour this is now or never for them to retire on high note by winning our maiden series there .

  • omkar on November 10, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    Hello 5wombats.

    Please join me in congratulaing India on a thorough professional and magnificent win.

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    i think after that 4-0 in england we need atleast 3-0 here against WI

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Completely enjoyed watching Cricket, great match! Yuvraj Singh, well next match is your final test! :)

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    super..............................come on india......................i want 3-0.will you.

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    well played india...i love my india...and i love all those player who played for INDIA....

  • Cricket on November 10, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    The pitch was absolutely pathetic on the 3rd and 4th day. Whilst spin is equally as important as pace, for a true contest or Test between bat and ball there has to be something in it for all bowlers. Pitches loaded in favour of batsmen only contributes further to decline in popularity of test matches. Bowler friendly pitches for both spin and pace gives the best chance of entertaining cricket and ensures only 'proper' batsmen get the rewards they deserve. So my suggestion is watch the 1st test of SA v Aus with Aus currently 21-6 and a lead of 209. Absolutely top class fast bowling and sensational entertainment.

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    @Karthik Raja....Well said mate!! Some ppl find find solace in bashing their own country men and hailing those "flash in the pans"....

  • No featured comments at the moment.