First Test

West Indies v India

At Georgetown, April 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Drawn. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: A. Sanford.

Bourda's Test followed a familiar pattern. An easy-paced pitch produced high scores, before rain, always a threat here, washed away the last day and a half. At least the sizeable Guyanese crowds had the satisfaction of witnessing a partnership of 293 between two local heroes, Hooper and Chanderpaul, who both compiled their highest scores in Tests - and helped West Indies reach 500 for only the second time in 39 Tests stretching back over four years. Then India were made to fight to avoid the follow-on. They had seven down before Dravid, defying a blow from Dillon that left him with a swollen jaw, saw them to safety, adding 120 with Sarandeep Singh. The pair were still together when the weather intervened.

West Indies had an uncertain start. They were 44 for three, all to Srinath, when Lara, who had played no competitive cricket since fracturing his left elbow in Sri Lanka four months earlier, was given out for nought by umpire Harper, caught behind by Dasgupta when even the bowler didn't seem convinced that he had touched the ball.

Hooper might have been caught by the diving Dasgupta off the very next delivery, and edged between first and second slip when ten. Once settled, however, he batted with increasing authority. He had made 222 and 149 not out for Guyana in the knockout stages of the Busta Shield and here he put on 113 for the fourth wicket with Sarwan, another Guyanese, until Sarwan drove loosely to mid-off. That brought in Chanderpaul. He and Hooper batted together for six hours and 11 minutes, adding 293, three runs short of West Indies' all-wicket record against India. Chanderpaul had hit 23 fours when he fell, shortly before tea on the second day. In the next over, Hooper converted his first Test hundred on his home ground into his maiden double-century at this level. He had advanced to 233, hitting three sixes and 29 fours, in 635 minutes and 402 balls, when he finally top-edged Kumble to long leg.

India lost two early wickets, but Tendulkar was soon into his stride, seizing the initiative with boundaries in all directions. He struck 13 fours as he rushed to 71 from 95 balls. Then he was becalmed by Cuffy and Nagamootoo, who restricted him to eight runs off his next 41. Attempting to break free, he missed a pull off Nagamootoo and was lbw. Laxman made light of the setback, looking comfortable from the start as he dominated a stand of 119 with Dravid. But when Laxman was the first of three wickets to fall within five overs on the fourth morning, India were still 27 away from saving the follow-on. Shortly before, Dravid, on 59, had been struck on the grille of the helmet; he received on-field treatment, then resolutely continued to his tenth Test hundred. In all, he batted for seven and a quarter hours, during which he hit 23 fours, before the rains came. With Sarandeep, he saw to it that there were no further alarms.

Man of the Match: C. L. Hooper.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 270-4 (Hooper 108, Chanderpaul 57); Second day, West Indies 494-7 (Nagamootoo 9, Dillon 0); Third day, India 237-4 (Dravid 57, Laxman 46); Fourth day, India 395-7 (Dravid 144, Sarandeep Singh 39).

© John Wisden & Co