Ashwin’s 5/52 helps India bowl out Windies for 196
Kingston, July 31 (IANS) Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up five wickets for 52 runs as India bowled out the West Indies for just 196 in their first innings of the second Test here on Saturday.
India reduced the hosts to 88/4 at lunch and in the second session, Ashwin continued his great show by picking four more wickets as the West Indies surrendered without any fight on the opening day.
The 29-year-old’s 18th five-wicket haul included the dismissals of Jermaine Blackwood (62), Marlon Samuels (37), Shane Dowrich (5), Jason Holder (13) and Devendra Bishoo (12).
Samuels, who along with Roston Chase was unbeaten at lunch, looked aggressive after the lunch and in the 29th over, he struck three consecutive fours off short deliveries from pacer Ishant Sharma. In the following over, he spanked Ashwin for a six over mid-on by dancing down the track in the first ball.
However, Ashwin got him in the second delivery as he tossed the ball up and Samuels reacted slightly slowly before the ball took the inside edge and was caught by Lokesh Rahul at short leg.
With the loss of the veteran right-hander with the total at 115/5, Ashwin made further inroads into the West Indian lower-order batting by dismissing Dowrich as the right-handed batsman edged to wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Right-arm pacer Mohammed Shami picked up his second wicket when Chase (10) drove and edged it to Shikhar Dhawan at slip off a perfect length ball.
Then, Bishoo attempted a sweep but he ended up top-edging an Ashwin delivery as the ball fell into the hands of Dhawan at short fine leg. Holder inside-edged another Ashwin pitched up delivery to Rahul at short leg.
Miguel Cummins (24 not out) delayed the inevitable as Shannon Gabriel (15) was the last batsman to be dismissed — by leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
The base of India’s brilliant bowling performance was laid by Ishant Sharma and Shami, who reduced the hosts to 7/3 before Ashwin struck just at the stroke of lunch to put the West Indies on the backfoot.
On what was touted as a pacy green track before the start of the match, Sharma extracted good bounce to dismiss opener Kraigg Brathwaite (1) and then Darren Bravo for a duck off the very next delivery.
Bravo’s poor run with the bat continued as he failed to read the Delhi pacer’s length ball outside off to be caught brilliantly by Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Shami then joined the party by packing the other opener Rajendra Chandrika (5) with a slightly back of length delivery, which induced the right-hander to go for a flash but instead got a thick edge to be caught at slips by Rahul.
With the hosts reeling at 7/3, veteran Samuels and Blackwood led the fightback with a 81-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Blackwood was unfazed with the situation his team was in and started playing his natural game from the start. His run-a-ball 62 included seven boundaries and four sixes before one from Ashwin turned sharply to send him back just before the lunch break.
After the 40-minute lunch break, it was all about the show from Ashwin, who also had helped India clinch the first Test with a seven-wicket haul.
Brief scores: West Indies: 196 all out (Jermaine Blackwood 62, Marlon Samuels 37; Ravichandran Ashwin 5/52, Mohammed Shami 2/23) vs India.