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WI survive thriller, draw first Test

It came down to the last ball, but the tenth wicket pair managed to thwart India's hopes. Scorecard

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 18:56 IST

West Indies survived a thriller of a contest to draw the first Test and take home the psychological advantage. It ultimately boiled down to the last ball, but the tenth wicket pair of Fidel Edwards and Corey Collymore managed to thwart Team India's hopes.

Earlier, after a sluggish start, Kumble infused fire into the day's proceedings to trigger a dramatic turnaround for India.

Chasing a daunting target of 392, the hosts made a smooth start through a 67-run opening stand between Daren Ganga and Chris Gayle, till the veteran leg-spiner once again came to his skipper's rescue to dismiss opener Daren Ganga.
 
After the fast bowlers failed to make any inroads into the west Indies batting line-up, Kumble struck to provide the much needed breakthrough for the visitors and justified Dravid's prefence for him over Harbhajan.

Sreesanth then followed suit to with two vital scalps of Ramnaresh Sarwan (1) and Braian Lara (0) to put India in the driver's seat at Antigua.

The Kerala quickie, after his disappointment of the first innings when he was thrashed by the West Indian batsmen, was finally beginning to make an impression in the game.

After the pre-lunch debacle, Gayle and Chanderpaul batted sensibly to ease the nerves in the West Indies camp. Gayle played the sheet anchor's role with a well timed half century and was ably supported by Chanderpaul at the end who looked very fluent.

The two put a crucial 99-run partnership for the fourth wicket to put the pressure back on the Indians. But the old warhorse Kumble struck at this juncture to remove bothin quick succession to put India back in the running. Chanderpaul too hit a well compiled fifty before falling to the leggie.

Sehwag then rose to the occasion and strike twice in quick succession to send both Bravo and Ramadin back to the pavilion and open the Windies floodgates.

The Najafgarh lad had Bravo caught behind by Dhoni. The all-rounder made 21 and West Indies were 220 for six.

Six runs later, Sehwag struck again picking up the wicket of Ramdin. He too was caught by Dravid at slip on the second attempt.

With the likelihood of a loss, Ian Bradshaw and Dave Mohammad decided that offence was the best defence. The two played their shots, often living dangerously.

Munaf Patel struck for his skipper removing Bradshaw that broke a crucial 50-run eighth-wicket partnership between him and Dave Mohammad.

But Mohammad held his own to bring up his maiden Test fifty before Kumble bowled him for 52.

Collymore and Edwards, then played out three tense overs to earn a draw for the home side.

Earlier, to everybody's dismay, the day began on a dull note to what promised to be a thrilling final day of Test cricket at Antigua.

The West Indies openers started on a very defensive mode from the very outset. The Caribbean strategy was very evident from the very outset - the hosts were more keen on playing for a draw than any decisive result.

Day 4

Skipper Rahul Dravid declared the innings amidst confusion on MS Dhoni's dismissal. The wicket-keeper was in a destructive mood as he hit Mohammed for three consecutive sixes, but was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Daren Ganga when he tried to do a repeat.

The declaration reminded one of the infamous incident involving Sachin Tendulkar during India's tour of Pakistan in 2004 when the maestro was batting on 193.

The play was brought to halt for a short while as there was some disagrremant between West Indies skipper Brian Lara and the umpires.

During this chaos, Dravid declared the innings and summoned Md Kaif and Dhoni back to the dressing room. Dhoni was later given out after a mutual agreement between him and the fielder Ganga.

The West Indies began their chase and were 13/0 at stumps on Day Four with Ganga batting on 10 and Gayle 2 not out.

Earlier, Wasim Jaffer smashed his maiden double century to turn the match on its head and put India in the driver's seat in the first Test at Antigua.

Jaffer played a pivotal role in the day's proceedings along with the skipper who once again played the second fiddle.

The two forged a record 203-run partnership for the third wicket to provide India the launchpad for setting a challenging target for the West Indies.

Later in the innings, destructive Dhoni who turned on the heat on the Caribbeans with some belligerent strokeplay at the very outset.

He raced to 69 with the help of four fours and 6 sixes. He was then caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary off Mohammed by Ganga.