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By CricketCountry Staff
New Delhi: Nov 9, 2011
India had the upper hand at the close of day on Tuesday evening after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid negotiated the West Indies bowlers on a difficult pitch to move to 152 for two and inch closer to the victory target of 276 in the first Test.
Tamil Nadu off-spinner Ravichandran Aswhin had vindicated his selection into the Test side with a five-for on debut, before Virender Sehwag (55 off 55 balls) provided the impetus to India’s innings with a typically aggressive knock, to leave the hosts within 124 runs from a victory on the third day.
At stumps, a resolute Dravid and Tendulkar were batting on 30 and 33 respectively. The duo’s unbroken third-wicket partnership has yielded 57 runs so far.
Seeking to score a record 100th international ton, Tendulkar on Tuesday completed 15,000 runs in this form of the game when he pushed Devendra Bishoo towards extra cover, and along with Dravid, would look to ensure that Ashwin’s superlative effort of six for 47 doesn’t go in vain when India resume their innings on Wednesday.
Earlier, inspired by Pragyan Ojha’s first-innings performance, Ashwin stole the limelight through some smart spin bowling on a treacherous Feroz Shah Kotla track where 27 wickets have gone down in the last two days.
In the process, Ashwin became the seventh Indian to begin his Test career with a five-for, and his match haul nine for 128 is also the second-best for an Indian on debut behind Narendra Hirwani’s 16 for 136, incidentally, against the same opponents, on an underprepared Chennai track back in 1988.
Ashwin, who dismissed opener Kieran Powell late Monday evening to trigger the slide, deservingly signalled the end of the West Indies innings by having Ravi Rampaul caught at deep midwicket.
Brief Scores: West Indies 304 (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 118, Kraigg Braithwaite 63; Pragyan Ojha 6 for 72, R Ashwin 3 for 81) & 180 (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 47, Darren Sammy 42, Kirk Edwards 33; R Ashwin 6 for 47, Umesh Yadav 2 for 36) lead India 209 (Virender Sehwag 55, Rahul Dravid 54; Darren Sammy 3 for 35, Ravi Rampaul 2 for 44) & 152 for 2 (Sachin Tendulkar 33*, Rahul Dravid 30*; Darren Sammy 1 for 32 ) by 124 runs.
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