WI on the brink
MUMBAI – A five-wicket haul from spin bowler Shane Shillingford was overshadowed by centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma that put India within sight of victory against West Indies on the second day of the second Test yesterday.
Shillingford again emerged as the pick of the West Indies bowlers, collecting 5-179 from 43 overs, but Pujara’s 113 and Sharma’s undefeated 111 have put India in the driver’s seat and nicely poised to make a clean sweep of the two match series.
Part-time off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine supported Shillingford, grabbing 2-45 from 11 overs, including the prized scalp of India star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, possibly playing his final innings in an unprecedented 200th and final Test.
India were bowled out for 495 and West Indies now face the daunting task of saving the match at the Wankhede Stadium, after they closed the second day on 43 for three in their second innings, still 270 in arrears.
West Indies ran into early trouble negotiating 14 overs before the close and losing the wickets of opener Kieran Powell, nightwatchman Tino Best and left-hander Darren Bravo.
In the space of 37 balls, Powell was caught at long-off for nine off Ravichandran Ashwin, Best was adjudged lbw to an arm-ball from left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha for the same score, and Bravo was caught at slip off Ashwin from a cut for 11.
Chris Gayle was not out on six with his compatriot Marlon Samuels set to follow when play resumes on the third day.
Before lunch, Deonarine and West Indies captain Darren Sammy forever had their names etched in history, when they linked up to dismiss Tendulkar, as India reached 282 for three at the interval.
To the disappointment of the thousands of fans of the little Indian master batsman in the stands and following the game around the world, Deonarine, had Tendulkar caught at slip by Sammy for 74, trying to guide a delivery to third man.
Tino Best had engaged in a fierce battle with Tendulkar, whose silky off-drive past the bowler for his ninth four brought him his 50 from 92 balls, and consecutive fours off Shillingford in his 13th over also had the Tendulkar touch of class about them.
Pujara was fortunate on 76, when he turned a delivery from Shillingford to forward short leg and Powell appeared to take a catch.
Standing umpire Nigel Llong of England consulted with square leg umpire and compatriot Richard Kettleborough before referring the decision to TV umpire Vineet Kulkarni of India.
After several replays that suggested a clean catch and what seemed an eternity, West Indies hopes for another important breakthrough before the interval were ruined, much to their consternation.
Shillingford struck again, when Pujara offered a tame return catch from a leading edge, and Best had India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught at second slip for four, leaving the home team 365 for six.
After the break, West Indies had early success, when Shillingford claimed five wickets for the sixth time in his 12 Tests, when he had Bhuvneshwar Kumar caught at slip for four before Kieran Powell’s direct hit from deep midwicket at the striker’s end ran Pragyan Ojha out for a duck, leaving India 415 for nine.
Shillingford thought he had Sharma and six wickets for the second straight Test, when the batsman swung him to cow corner and Deonarine moved under the ball to hold a tumbling catch – but umpire Llong asked for the dismissal to be reviewed and Kulkarni spotted a no-ball from the West Indies off-spinner.
Deonarine wrapped the innings up when he had Mohammed Shami caught at deep backward square leg for 11. (CMC)