Indian seamers make inroads on rain-marred day
West Indies 75 for 3 (Bravo 22*, Chanderpaul 17*, Ishant 2-23) v India
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Steady rain blighted a promising start under clear skies and bright sunshine in the first ever Test in Dominica - the 106th Test venue - to reduce the opening day to just 31.1 overs. In that time, India made good use of their only opportunity to bowl first this series, removing three top-order batsmen on a good batting track. India's decision to bowl was prompted by the moisture in the pitch, but it didn't play a significant role; instead the seamers were persistent against the inexperienced batting that included two debutants. Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo then added 40 runs in a rebuilding effort before the rain swooped in.
This is a landmark Test in several ways other than the ground's debut: Chanderpaul became the most-capped West Indies Test cricketer, overtaking Courtney Walsh, and he fittingly handed out the maroon caps to his two debutant team-mates, Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards.
There was wobbly swing for Praveen Kumar early on and, barring a couple of misdirected balls down the leg side, he set about working at the openers outside off stump. Powell left the ball well, and solidly kept out the odd ones that nipped back in. A tall opener from Leeward Islands with a sound defence, Powell went along patiently but couldn't resist stabbing at Praveen, who teased him into edging an inducker to second slip.
Barath had negotiated the deliveries bowled in the channel but offered hope to the bowlers with his constant shuffles towards off stump. Ishant had bowled a couple of shortish deliveries at Barath and, following a change of ends in the 13th over continued hitting that length. Barath hooked a bouncer, played at the next one down the leg side and saw it clip his thigh pad, and then opted to attack again when Ishant delivered a third consecutive short ball. He walked across to swivel and pull one behind square, only to drag it off his glove and on to the stumps.
Ishant hit the deck and the bat hard, aiming at Bravo's ribs and then inducing him to cut uppishly past an absent gully. But he had some support from the other end in dismissing Kirk Edwards. Munaf Patel, playing his first Test since April 2009, had put Edwards in some discomfort with a series of short balls. When Edwards faced up to Ishant in the 17th over, he attempted to hook a bouncer that didn't quite deserve it and was adjudged caught-behind, though replays indicated the ball had deflected off the helmet. Edwards indicated to the umpire he'd been struck on the helmet, potentially warranting some attention from the match referee, before leaving the field.
That brought in Chanderpaul to big cheers from the small crowd and he settled in, for the umpteenth time, to the assignment of stabilising a wobbling innings in his 133rd Test.
India - who bowled at a much improved over-rate, with their captain facing a one-Test ban if it slipped again - turned to spin before lunch and Harbhajan Singh, just two wickets away from 400 in Tests, extracted decent bounce in his very first over. But barring a top-edged sweep that fell safe, Chanderpaul, along with Bravo, defended well and rotated the strike. The pair picked a boundary each with delicious drives off Praveen after lunch and looked to be setting a platform for recovery when the skies opened up as they had long threatened.
Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo