Shami orchestrates Windies collapse

India

Four telling wickets from fast bowler Mohammed Shami reduced the West Indies to a poor total of 234 all out, before India commenced a strong reply, on day one of the first Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Four telling wickets from fast bowler Mohammed Shami reduced the West Indies to a poor total of 234 all out, before India commenced a strong reply, on day one of the first Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay pushed the response to 37 without loss before the close of play, reducing the Windies' lead to a mere 197, and the promise of plenty more runs from the hosts come Thursday.

Captain Darren Sammy's choice to bat first after winning the toss brought early promise, as the left-handed Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell stave off a testing opening 14 overs. The pressure, ultimately tolled, though.

The experienced Marlon Samuels proved the backbone of the middle order, counterattacking in characteristic fashion en route to 65. The right-hander refused to let spinners Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran dictate terms, striking all of 11 boundaries and twin sixes.

Shami, however, struck at regular intervals – with some superb reverse swing and lateral movement off the seam accounting for the departure of Samuels and wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin.

The young debutant justified selection ahead of the out-of-form Ishant Sharma entirely, and established a sound platform for Dhawan, Vijay and the veteran Sachin Tendulkar to grow into a fat first-innings lead.

This is the retiring Tendulkar's 199th – and penultimate – Test match, with the part-time spinner's removal of aspiring all-rounder Shane Shillingford suggesting the occasion will continue to be epitomised by a cricket richness built on his unwavering shoulders.

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