West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 4th day July 24, 2016

Ashwin seals India's first innings win in WI


India 566 for 8 decl. (Kohli 200, Ashwin 113, Dhawan 84, Mishra 53) beat West Indies 243 (K Brathwaite 74, Dowrich 57* Yadav 4-41, Shami 4-66) and (f/o) 231 (C Brathwaite 51*, Samuels 50, Ashwin 7-83) by an innings and 92 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

An Ashwin-inspired India ran through West Indies after lunch on day four to bring up their biggest Test win outside Asia © AFP

It took more than four sessions coming, but once R Ashwin found his rhythm he ran through the West Indian line-up to seal India's first innings win in the Caribbean, and their biggest one outside Asia.

After lunch on day four, with India needing eight wickets to finish the match, Ashwin found dip and drift. Simultaneously, he cut out the loose balls to earn a five-for and a hundred in the same Test for a second time, the most by an Indian. West Indies couldn't offer much resistance and folded in 78 overs. They had lasted only 12.2 overs longer in the first innings.

Before Ashwin struck, Marlon Samuels and Rajendra Chandrika had managed to hold India up for 22 overs, which did frustrate India a little. Especially after an umpiring decision got India's goat. After Umesh Yadav had removed Darren Bravo in the first over of the morning - a repeat feeble push to a wide delivery from the first innings - Mohammed Shami, in his first over of the morning, hit Samuels' glove and offered a low chance to Wriddhiman Saha's left. The wicketkeeper claimed immediately.

Coach Anil Kumble, watching from the balcony, lifted his finger after the first replay. However, the replays - understandably not adequate in terms of angles or quality for financial reasons - didn't return a verdict beyond reasonable doubt, nor was there a soft signal made by the on-field umpires. So the benefit of that doubt went to Samuels. His bat obscured the front-on replay somewhat, and there was nothing else to go by. The third umpire erred on the side of caution.

Virat Kohli wasn't amused. He was seen having an animated conversation with Ian Gould, who had irritated the Indian captain on day two as well. Kohli was trying to get in an extra over before stumps, but Gould, conversing on a walkie-talkie, had denied them.

In a glimpse of what makes him a frustrating batsman to watch in Tests - a superb stroke-maker with an average under 35 - Samuels drove and cut gorgeously to take 23 off the 19 balls after his reprieve. Rain arrived, 40 minutes before lunch, and several players walked straight to a laptop and sat around it, perhaps watching the replays and wondering how Samuels had survived.

India lost 15 minutes because of the rain. When an early lunch was taken, Ashwin had only bowled 22 overs in the match. He had offered too many balls to cut and was the only wicketless Indian bowler at the time. On a pitch that didn't assist spin, and against batsmen who were happy to sit back, he was made to work hard.

Ashwin's rhythm, however, returned immediately after the break. He beat Samuels in flight, with the ball dipping and hitting him on the pad. The next ball didn't turn as much, and took a soft outside edge for two runs. That was followed by another probing over, replete with a leading edge. You could sense Ashwin was building up to something.

He had Chandrika believing he was driving at a half-volley, but the dip created distance, and Saha juggled a low catch off the batsman's pad. Replays weren't conclusive vis-à-vis the inside edge, but Chandrika didn't protest at all. Next up was Jermaine Blackwood, for a pair. Once again, Ashwin created the distance with drift and dip, and the offbreak was driven to short midwicket.

Samuels became the victim of drift. As it is, he likes staying beside the line, but this one from Ashwin drifted away, and then didn't turn as much as he expected, hitting the top of off stump. The ball kept dipping on the inexperienced batsmen, who were arguably facing this quality of spin bowling for the first time, and debutant Roston Chase soon fell to forward short leg because his intended block didn't reach the pitch of the ball.

Amit Mishra broke the Ashwin streak with a topspinner that trapped Shane Dowrich, but Ashwin finished his first five-for outside Asia with another beauty. Jason Holder thought he could drive at a seemingly full offbreak, but the ball drifted away to create the bat-pad gap, and turned through it to hit the leg stump. Ashwin had taken five wickets in 51 balls.

A win seemed only a matter of time but India got fancy with bowling changes, and Carlos Brathwaite and Devendra Bishoo made them wait 24.1 overs for their ninth wicket. After West Indies forced the match past the tea break, Ashwin came back to end it with the wickets of Bishoo and Shannon Gabriel in one over.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mahendra1 on July 27, 2016, 14:59 GMT

    Ashwin doing a great job in first TEST, now for second TEST, R Jadeja shall be included.

  • Crick_Expert on July 27, 2016, 13:50 GMT

    INDIAN won from WI A-TEAM,....

  • siddharthxoom on July 26, 2016, 20:31 GMT

    If WI relly wants to play competitive cricket, they need to bring in Bravo, Russell, narine in the test team. I am not sure about pollard and gayle would agree for test, but if they do, they should be in as well....i know they are not 100% test batsmen but anyhow, the current lot is not doing any good. atleast polllard will score a 30 ball 50. for bowling apart from gabriel, everyone else needs to be replaced. benn can be in reserve, but ravi rampaul is a must.

  • Outfielder on July 26, 2016, 18:32 GMT

    And a further comment - the West Indies is missing a good allrounder. There is still room for someone like Daren Sammy or Dwayne Bravo. I myself like to 'blood' young players but the selectors need to take stock and put a balanced team out there that is competent and competitive!!

  • Outfielder on July 26, 2016, 18:13 GMT

    Congratulations to India on a good win. I like the intensity of Capitan Kohli! There are a lot of things the WI can work on: 1. Jason Houlder loves the game and has the right attitude but not enough experience - the guys on the field cannot look to him for guidance and this shows....badly. I am not sure why he is picked but it is most likely his enthusiasm since his bowling leaves a lot to be desired 2. Shane Dowrich is an untidy keeper and he should be reminded this is his primary job - I cannot see why Ramdin could be dropped in favour of him and having Ramdin there serves 2 roles for both 1 and 2 3. I love the heart Carlos Brathwaite displays - it is something that Shannon Gabriel could learn something from. I believe that a more experienced capaigner like Ravi Rampaul or the hard working Sheldon Cottrell or Krishmar Santokie bring that X-Factor that batsmen have problems facing 4. Darren Bravo needs to focus - losing his wicket cheaply shows a lack of respect for his fans

  • HDG1978 on July 26, 2016, 12:44 GMT

    If India can manage to win the ongoing Test series in WI by a 4-0 margin, though still early to foretell such a scoreline,it will better India's longest streak of away Test wins achieved between 2004 & 2005 with 5 consecutive wins (Rawalpindi,Dhaka,Chittagong, Bulawayo & Harare).A 4-0 win in WI would add up to 6 consecutive away wins including the back to back Test wins achieved in SL in 2015 to secure a rare come from behind Test series win in the Emerald Isle after 22 years.

  •   Ricardo Ramdin on July 26, 2016, 10:06 GMT

    Just two changes for the next. Game Johnson Charles and pollard in chase and chandrika out. Other changes to follow based on performance . Already a few players are showing there talent in the cpl . And deserve consideration

  • Cricinfouser on July 26, 2016, 5:13 GMT

    Here is the reality of the situation. This is a one-side series. WI does not have a test team capable of giving India worthwhile competition. The selectors have made a mess of the game so much so that test cricket in the WI carries no interest for the public any more. Look at the current team. Which name in the squad is capable of drawing a crowd. There were times past when even when WI were not at the top of the game that persons would go to see particular players in action, because such players were masters worth watching. A high school cricket team would pose a challenge to the current WI test team.

  • howzat86 on July 25, 2016, 20:00 GMT

    I would like to say well done to India for winning the 1st test. Kohli scored an excellent double century, also useful century and 7 wickets from Ashwin, the seamers bowled well and 566/8 was an excellent score. The West Indies strengths are T20 and ODI'S however they test cricket is absolutely diabolical, the stadium was empty and i have to admit Jason Holder is a negative captain and a lot of his bowlers bowled negative lines and most of the batsmen are not capable of building a partnership and not being able to play a long innings as they lack patience.

  • needgreenpitches4bowlingallrounders on July 25, 2016, 16:58 GMT

    @YOOHOO i am not denying Ashwin's century and 7 wicket haul . For me Man of Match is someone who has changed tempo of game. Virat's 200 set much needed run's and Run rate also there by ensuring Indian bowlers had plenty of time.

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