West Indies v India, 3rd Test, Dominica, 4th day

India on top despite Kirk Edwards' ton

The Bulletin by Siddhartha Talya

July 9, 2011

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

West Indies 204 and 224 for 6 (K Edwards 110, Chanderpaul 73*, Harbhajan 3-61) lead India 347 (Dhoni 74, F Edwards 5-103) by 81 runs
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Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kirk Edwards take a run, West Indies v India, 3rd Test, Dominica, 4th day, July 9, 2011
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kirk Edwards put on 161 for the fourth wicket to lead West Indies' resistance © AFP
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India edged a day of fluctuating fortunes to take complete control of a rain-marred third Test in Dominica and closed in on a 2-0 series victory despite a century on debut from Kirk Edwards. His confidence and composure while approaching his landmark was a contrast to his edginess and uncertainty early in his innings, and he was guided along by Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who fought his own battles and survived to take the game into the fifth day. However, the loss of three wickets in the final session, made possible by an improved spell from Harbhajan Singh, meant the game was still India's.

Edwards had big boots to fill when he was picked for this Test ahead of Ramnaresh Sarwan. He was left out of the West Indies squad for the final two ODIs against India and would have been under some pressure coming in to this game. He was dismissed early in his first outing and given the responsibility of rebuilding the innings after the early loss of the openers in the second. The nerves were on show against a testing spell by the Indian seamers on a track offering some assistance early on, and against the turn and bite Harbhajan was able to extract. Munaf Patel roughed him up with a couple of bouncers that he failed to keep down - Edwards had succumbed to the short ball in the first innings - and Harbhajan produced a half-chance towards short leg with his line from round the wicket.

Edwards, however, overcame the tough initiation. He was a beneficiary of a packed off-side field against spin, being able to comfortably work the straighter ones around to rotate the strike, and an overdose of short deliveries from the seamers, who perhaps helped him conquer his weakness. He pulled Munaf twice to the midwicket boundary, inflicted the same treatment on Ishant Sharma, and in the session after tea, having reached his half-century, confidently stepped out to Harbhajan when he'd been playing back to him for much of the day. A pulled six off Abhinav Mukund and a delightful straight drive off Ishant later, he joined an illustrious list of West Indians including George Headley and Lawrence Rowe in freakish fashion, surviving a run-out chance when Harbhajan missed a direct hit and completed the ton on an overthrow.

Harbhajan eventually got Edwards, however. India had expected more from him on a spin-friendly track in Barbados where West Indies managed to save the game, but he stepped up in conditions with lesser, but adequate, assistance today. He bamboozled a set Darren Bravo with a vicious turner that zipped from leg to beat the outside edge, and trapped him next ball with a flighted delivery that Bravo, sensing a release, miscued to mid-off. Edwards seemed to have fought off the threat, but when Harbhajan came round the wicket and got some extra bounce, he edged a tired cut to MS Dhoni to trigger India's fightback.

Smart stats

  • Kirk Edwards became the 14th West Indian batsman to score a century on debut and the third West Indian to score a debut hundred against India. Adrian Barath was the last West Indian to score a ton on debut (against Australia in 2009).
  • The 161-run stand between Edwards and Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the tenth-highest fourth-wicket stand for West Indies against India. Seven of the top ten stands have come in Tests in West Indies.
  • Fidel Edwards' 5 fpr 103 is his tenth five-wicket haul and second-best bowling figures against India after the 5 for 76 in Barbados in the second Test.
  • Chanderpaul's 73 is his 11th half-century in Tests against India. Only Clive Lloyd (12) has scored more among West Indian batsmen. Among West Indian batsmen who have scored at least 1000 runs in Tests against India, his average of 65.88 is third on the list behind that of Everton Weekes (106.78) and Garry Sobers (83.47).
  • India have a chance to win two Tests in the West Indies for the first time. In their only two previous series wins in West Indies in 1971 and 2006, they won by a margin of 1-0.

Marlon Samuels survived a close lbw shout first ball when he played back to a flighted delivery and repeated the folly two balls later against a quicker one. He was given out lbw by umpire Richard Kettleborough but replays showed the ball to be missing off. Watching the slide from the other end was Chanderpaul, who was left to rebuild all over again.

Before the series, Chanderpaul hadn't been dismissed by Harbhajan in more than 500 deliveries but was made to graft when he came in at 40 for 3. He was beaten on more than one occasion, survived two lbw shouts, edged one just past VVS Laxman, was dropped by Rahul Dravid at slip and struck a painful blow by Munaf on his thigh. But he grew in confidence once the part-timers were introduced and took advantage of the vacant leg-side field before tea to get going.

After the break, Chanderpaul looked more assured with a few runs and a fighting stand behind his back. His first boundary came off his 113th delivery, an on-drive off Praveen Kumar, and he followed up by cutting Harbhajan past point. He dispatched a long-hop from Abhinav on his way to a half-century and had begun stitching a useful stand with Carlton Baugh, who deserted him with a loose shot to cover against the new ball off Praveen in the last over of the day. Another long and difficult ordeal lay in store for West Indies' most-capped player.

West Indies' batting has let them down this series and though the returns were better today, it undermined an excellent effort from Fidel Edwards, who limited India's lead to 143 with his second consecutive five-for. His short stuff in a fiery morning spell proved too hot to handle for the Indian batsmen and they were bowled out in quick time. The West Indies openers, though, were quick to intensify the pressure the hosts were under. India's bowlers were persistent with their off-stump line and bowled to their field which, at one point, included four slips. Kieran Powell and Adrian Barath were only too willing to play into India's hands, almost literally, poking at deliveries outside off to gift catches to slip, leaving those who followed with a taller mountain to scale.

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ATTACKING_INDIANS on (July 10, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW KIRK EDWARDS PERFORMS IN THE FUTURE.THEY HAVE ONE EXCITING TALENT DARREN BRAVO AND NOW KIRK EDWARDS HAS A CENTURY ON HIS DEBUT.DEVENDRA BISHOO IS A WORLD CLASS SPINNER.RAVI RAMPAUL AND FIDEL EDWARDS ARE ALSO DOING WELL. CHRIS GAYLE A DESTRUCTIVE OPENER IS NOT IN THE TEAM.SO IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF TALENT IT IS A QUESTION OF PERFORMING WELL AS A TEAM AND TO DEVELOP KILLER INSTICT. THE ROLE OF ICC HERE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO PROMOTE CRICKET AND INDUCT MONEY TO DEVELOP CRICKET AND POPULARIZE CRICKET IN THE ISLANDS OF WESTINDIES

Posted by   on (July 10, 2011, 13:42 GMT)

@ gottalovetheraindance, though what you are saying is right that indian team did not really dominate the series , however we also need to keep it in mind that India was playing almost its A team with the exception of dravid , laxman , dhoni and bhajji no one else would have merited a berth in the current squad . weather permitting , it would have been 2-0 by now and probably 3-0 if this test had not seen the rain interruptions ... what more can you ask for from a second string team ? remember Paki visit to WI a month or so back ? so i think it was overall a good test for second string players to show their worth . The true test would be England later this month .

Posted by   on (July 10, 2011, 13:33 GMT)

It is sad that fans across the globe are calling the West Indies a 2nd Tier team and calling for players like Gayle and Sarwan. Please note 1. West Indies have never cried down other teams when we were great. 2. When Australia were on top the arrogance caused the rest of the world to go out and beat them. 3. Father time caught up with West Indies and Australian players. He will get India too. 4. To those cruel indian fans putting down the West Indies I hope you realise that being No 1. means everyone is going to try to beat you. So the last three years were great for Indian cricket. My Challenge to you do it for 10 years home and AWAY. By the way rain and bad decisions are a part of the game. We know because since 1995 West Indies have been on the receiving end of some obvious mistakes. If not for the UDRS we would have lost to Pakistan.

Posted by SachinLara1 on (July 10, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

@gottalovetheraindance:then how abt dhoni's dismissal in 1st two tests, raina's dismissal twice, kohli once...dont say silly excuses

Posted by Sameer_cricfan on (July 10, 2011, 13:06 GMT)

Let's have a look at these numbers then.... Taking Ind SA Aus Eng and their last home and away series against we get 6 series and the number says- Ind 3 win 2 draw and 1 loss, SA 2 win 3 draw and 1 loss, Aus 2 win and 4 loss and Eng 2 win 1 draw and 3 loss. Calculate the points and you will get ICC ranking so ranking is a true reflection.

Posted by anurag4u10 on (July 10, 2011, 12:54 GMT)

i believe all d bhajji haters wud hav got answers now. hope he will help us win d test provided rain permits

Posted by Balb on (July 10, 2011, 12:50 GMT)

West Indies still have a chance to at least save this match and play for a draw. Chanderpaul, Sammy, Edwarda and Bishoo can put runs on the board and save this game defying India a 2 - 0 series win. Fidels Edwards can come back and put India's back against the wall. With Bishoo keeping one end tight. West Indies must bat into the middle of tea periodon this final day to make this happen. And for Biradhar, please recheck. India did not send a B team to the Wes Indies. They have Dravid, Laxman, Harbhajan and Dhoni. they them selves are rebuilding so show some respect to your own team. Did not realise Dravid, Laxman, Bhajji and Dhoni are rated B players. Hope Chanderpaul, the West Indies 'Stone Wall' can make history here.

Posted by rajatgupta_indianfan on (July 10, 2011, 12:32 GMT)

@Valavan...dude I wd suggest you to read my comment first before commenting on it...I understand your jealousy but dont be blinded by it ;)

Posted by whatishappening on (July 10, 2011, 12:10 GMT)

@gottalovetheraindance! Tell me from which country you are and I will tell you how many times your country won by luck or beat weak opponent. India is also not playing with full team and that too in a foreign soil. There were many wrong umpiring against India also. Try to appreciate others instead of brooding over the defeat of the team you support.

Posted by iccf on (July 10, 2011, 11:53 GMT)

i hope sammy and chanderpaul fight out today and deny india a victory

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