India v West Indies, 1st Test, Delhi, 1st day

Chanderpaul's kiss and Gambhir's déjà vu

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the first Test between India and West Indies in Delhi

Sharda Ugra at the Feroz Shah Kotla

November 6, 2011

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Shivnarine Chanderpaul kisses the ground after reaching his century, India v West Indies, 1st Test, New Delhi, 1st day
Chanderpaul celebrated his 24th Test century with due protocol © AFP
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False dawn of the day
Darren Bravo walked off the Kotla for lunch after a creamy on-drive off Ishant Sharma. It was the last ball of an otherwise frugal session and Bravo promised a delectable feast. But he was to return from the break and make a complete meal of his moment, just five balls into the second session. Trying to create a cut out of nothing, Bravo gave Ashwin his first wicket, scattered his own stumps and re-established his reputation for following the sublime with the ridiculous.

Shot of the day
Shivnarine Chanderpaul gave his tremulous, tied down younger team-mates a clear lesson on his method of tackling the spinners on a slow low slight turner. Having tootled his way to the mid-30s, he leapt out against R Ashwin and struck him clean, sharp and straight into the terrace over long on. An hour later, he dished out some of the same to Pragyan Ojha: this shot came with less elevation but identical destination and result.

Déjà vu of the day
Misfortune is chasing Gautam Gambhir in the field. Having recouped after being struck on the arm and concussed in England, and ready to go into partnership with Virender Sehwag again, Gambhir gamely took up short-leg duties. He had survived the better part of the day, with few sweeps or pulls in his direction. Then came Chanderpaul. With a century in sight he swept Ojha and Gambhir was struck on his right forearm - at least it was not the left one this time. The ball insultingly ballooned off it into empty mid-wicket space. Gambhir doubled up in pain and VVS Laxman chivalrously took over for the rest of the over, before Virat Kohli took up the unenviable duty for rest of the day's play.

Kiss of the day
Chanderpaul celebrated his 24th Test century with due protocol. He raised his arms, hugged his partner, waved his bat towards the dressing room and acknowledged the spectators' applause, and like he always does after a 100, went down on his knees and kissed the pitch. The Kotla track has rarely warmed too many hearts (other than that of Anil Kumble) and the gesture won over the noisiest part of the crowd. As Chanderpaul kissed the Kotla, he was given a fresh roar of approval by the lower tier of the East stand. It sounded like they were saying, 'at least someone loves us'.

Quick fingers of the day
Whatever the condition MS Dhoni's fingers are in, when it comes to stumpings, they work like pure gold. The adhesive-like Braithwaite would probably still be batting had Dhoni drawn an extra breath as the opener took a big stride in his attempt to reach one of Ojha's wider ones. But he didn't and, by the time the ball had gone past his line of sight, Braithwaite knew he had not sent his foot back home. The bails toppled, the umpire called for the replay but Dhoni was dead confident. He had seen the ball coming, the foot departing and he didn't stop to breathe.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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