Match reports


Toss: West Indies

Toss: West Indies. Test debuts: A. R. Kapoor.
West Indies levelled the series to remain unbeaten since March 1980, while India went down to their first home defeat since November 1988. The outcome was uncertain when West Indies led by only 56 on first innings. But Walsh then got exactly what he wanted from his batsmen and swept India away in a striking burst from Benjamin on the fifth morning. Walsh had been a doubtful starter, because of a recurring whiplash injury to his neck. He discarded his neck brace the day before the match - and did himself a favour by winning the toss. West Indies batted and he had another day's rest.
The first Test in Mohali, a suburb of Chandigarh, was played on the truest pitch of the series, prompting the West Indians to revert to their standard four quick bowlers. Cuffy replaced Chanderpaul, while India introduced off-spinner Aashish Kapoor. But West Indies almost tossed away the advantage of batting first when Hooper - stumped by Manjrekar, as wicket-keeper Mongia was off with a stomach bug - and Arthurton played careless shots just after tea. Once again, Adams played with patient determination, and this time used his bat more than his pads. His third Test hundred was a career-best 174 not out in seven and a half hours. Though Kumble was still largely blunted, he picked up four wickets to reach 99 in his 20th Test. After Sidhu was bowled off his helmet by Walsh, Prabhakar batted 405 minutes for an equally patient century, his first in his 36 Tests. Later, Srinath put on 64 with Raju, a tenth-wicket record for India against West Indies, as they inched towards the tourists' 443.
But then West Indies seized the initiative, scoring 301 inside 57 overs. Promoted to open, Lara played his best innings of the tour, 91 from 104 balls. It ended when he walked after tickling a catch to the wicket-keeper. However, Adams and Arthurton kept up the pace with an unbroken stand of 145 in 106 minutes. Walsh was able to declare 357 ahead and have an hour's bowling at India on the fourth evening. Only Sidhu was out, but Prabhakar was led off after one over, his nose broken by a ball from Walsh that burst through his helmet grille. That made the Indian batsmen uneasy, especially on a pitch which continued to play true; it retained some bounce to the end and the ball moved in the morning. Benjamin and Walsh dismissed Tendulkar and Manjrekar in the day's third and fourth overs and bowled unchanged as they reduced India to 68 for eight. The assault was planned to a nicety, short-pitched enough to cause grave discomfort to the batsmen yet not enough to test the two-bouncer-per-over law. Finally meeting some resistance - another last-wicket stand between Srinath and Raju - Walsh turned to Cuffy, who had Raju glove a catch to Murray in his first over, the 21st of the morning.
Man of the Match: J. C. Adams. Man of the Series: J. C. Adams.
Close of play: First day, West Indies 296-6 (J. C. Adams 84*, A. C. Cummins 11*); Second day, India 95-1 (M. Prabhakar 55*, S. V. Manjrekar 33*); Third day, India 379-9 (J. Srinath 47*, S. L. V. Raju 12*); Fourth day, India 37-1 (S. V. Manjrekar 14*, S. R. Tendulkar 6*).