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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tendulkar Farewell Test Series: Shami Debut Destroys West Indies!


Mohammed Shami

West Indies got dismissed cheaply for 234 runs just after tea on the first day of the first cricket Test between India and West Indies at the majestic Eden Gardens, Kolkata today. This was brought about largely by a tremendous burst of swing bowling by Mohammed Shami who made his Test debut too being preferred over Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav due to his good performance in the recently concluded 7-match India-Australia one day international Series. Shami took four wickets for 71 runs and was also instrumental in a run-out. The second debutant for the first Test was Rohit Sharma who was finally given the Test cap thanks mainly to his Series winning innings of 209 runs in the final ODI against Australia in Bangalore. Test specialists Murli Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, spinner Pragyan Ojha, and of course Sachin Tendulkar featured in Team India.

West Indies (WI) won the toss and elected to bat first on the slow pitch at Eden Gardens. The pitch hardly helped the bowlers—be it pacers or spinners—but WI openers could not take advantage as the danger man Chris Gayle (18) got out early to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar while Kieran Powell (28) gave Shami his debut break. However, the uneven bounce in the pitch held something in store for the bowlers and it happened sooner than expected. After forty overs the umpires changed the ball and immediately the pacer duo got some reverse swing. Even then, it was not the bowling but the suicidal mindset of the WI batsmen that contributed largely to the debacle. A big partnership was in the making between Samuels (65) and DM Bravo (23) when the Shami burst had the former bowled. Bravo complicated matters by getting run out in a horrible mix-up. West Indies were reduced to 143/5 when Ramdin’s stumps were uprooted by Shami getting his third scalp. For a team used to unaccountable collapses there was no fight back and the full team got out for 234. Chanderpaul (36), the consistent tormentor for India, did linger on and was the ninth down at 233.  

Sachin Tendulkar, the legend for whom this cricket Series has been organized, was prominently visible throughout on the field giving encouragement to bowlers and running around fielding with zest. To the delight of the crowd he took his 46th Test wicket too trapping Shillingford leg before. With this wicket Sachin increased his international tally of wickets to 201 (154 in ODIs and 1 in T20I). At stumps on the first day India reached 37 for no loss in 12 overs with Shikhar Dhawan on 21 not out and Murli Vijay on 16 not out. Fans eagerly wait now for tomorrow when their idol comes out to bat.
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