Rohit, Ashwin secure solid lead for hosts

India

India batsman Rohit Sharma's good form continued in Kolkata on Thursday as he reached stumps on day two of the first Test against the West Indies on 127 not out, leading the recovery as India reached 354 for six, a lead of 120.

India batsman Rohit Sharma's good form continued in Kolkata on Thursday as he reached stumps on day two of the first Test against the West Indies on 127 not out, leading the recovery as India reached 354 for six, a lead of 120.

The morning session as seen the hosts lose five wickets, four of them to Shane Shillingford, including that of Sachin Tendulkar. At one stage, India were 83 for five, until debutant Rohit and partners saved the knock. He had put on 198 not out without Ravi Ashwin (92).

India started the day on 37 for none, looking good after dismissing the visitors cheaply, for 234, on day one. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan were in the middle, and started off well in front of the Eden Gardens faithful.

But they were only able to add five runs to the overnight score before the spinner struck. Shillingford bowled Dhawan for 23, before Vijay was stumped for 26 just six overs later, off the same bowler.

Vijay didn't even have time to leave his crease before the crowd began to roar, anticipating the arrival of Sachin Tendulkar, playing possibly his final innings at the venue. The Little Master walked to the middle and soon got off the mark.

Cheteshwar Pujara was at the other end and he was only able to advance to 17 before falling to Sheldon Cottrell, caught behind by Denesh Ramdin. Three runs and one over later saw India four down, as Tendulkar departed for 10.

He was trapped LBW by Shillingford, the ball hitting his back pad and looking fairly plumb from the front. But replays showed that if DRS had been in action, the legend may have been granted a reprieve as it was probably too high.

As it was, this left India on 82 for four, and they were down to five one run later. Virat Kohli was out to Shillingford, caught at short leg after a bat-pad deflection. He asked for the no-ball check, but it was a grasp at straws and he had to go.

The session was concluded with Rohit and MS Dhoni in the middle, both having reached double figures as they battled the increasingly tricky pitch. They then resumed and went on to recorded a 73-run stand to settle the knock.

The pair made those runs in just under 21 overs, with Dhoni the more attacking player, but he was the one wicket to fall in the session. He departed after the ball was changed, edging the slightly harder ball to Ramdin off Tino Best for 42.

Rohit and Ashwin then continued to milk the runs, also putting on 73 together, and reducing the deficit to five runs by the time tea arrived. Rohit had made his fifty off 95 patient deliveries.

The evening session saw the pair continue without any problems, as Ashwin's move towards all-rounder continued as he scored his half ton off 71 balls. Rohit, meanwhile, made his way towards his maiden Test ton, on debut.

He was the 14th India player to reach a century in his first match, and he was still in the running to make it two double tons in a row after his 209 in the final ODI against Australia. He was on 127 at the close, while Ashwin was on 92 off 148 balls.

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