India romp to series victory


Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin shared four wickets as India beat a resilient West Indies by an innings and 15 runs in the second Test to clinch the series at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. The West Indies were bowled out for 463 in their second innings just before tea on the penultimate day after being asked to follow on with 478 runs in arrears, with Darren Bravo smashing a sparkling 136. Left-arm spinner Ojha dismissed free-scoring Bravo and off-spinner Ashwin removed Marlon Samuels for an impressive 84 before seamer Umesh Yadav ended the innings with the last two wickets off successive balls. The West Indies, beaten by five wickets in the opening Test of the three-match series in New Delhi, lost their last six wickets for 62 runs in the afternoon session. The tourists, dismissed for 153 in their first innings in reply to India’s mammoth 631-7 declared, put in a much-improved batting performance in the second innings as they made the hosts struggle for wickets on a good pitch.
“It was a long fielding session. We got them out comfortably in the first innings but saw that the track was getting flatter and there was nothing in it for the bowlers,” said India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “I think the first innings was perfect and after that it was a game of patience. Bravo batted superbly.” There was no hint of a late collapse when Bravo and Samuels were dominating the Indian attack with exciting strokeplay during their 132-run stand for the fifth wicket. Bravo smashed four sixes and 16 fours in his brilliant 230-ball knock for his second Test hundred in three matches, having hammered 195 in the second and final Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka before the India tour. He made India wait for the victory with his defiant stand with Samuels before being caught by Rahul Dravid at lone slip in the afternoon. Ashwin, who got married a day before the Test started, then removed Samuels as he got trapped leg-before after cracking one six and 13 fours in his brisk 111-ball knock.
“I’d like to commend the guys in the second innings and if we put two innings together we can pose a challenge to other teams,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who made 32. “It was a good fight in the second innings. India showed us how to bat on this track. It called for application.” The West Indies defied the Indian attack in the extended morning session, adding 144 runs to their overnight total of 195-3 for the loss of just one wicket.
India took the new ball immediately after it was due and Yadav struck in his second over when he dismissed Shivnarine Chanderpaul (47), who inside-edged the delivery on to his stumps after hitting six fours in his 94-ball knock.
Chanderpaul, known for playing a long innings, and Bravo added 108 runs for the fourth wicket, denying India success for more than an hour in the opening session.
Bravo, who survived a run-out chance on 54, continued to play attacking shots as he lofted Ashwin for a straight six before hitting two fours in an over off paceman Ishant Sharma.
He moved from 92 to 100 with a pair of fours as he drove Yadav through the covers and then steered to third-man.
Bravo was lucky to survive a confident appeal for a bat-pad catch by Gautam Gambhir at short-leg off Ojha when on 119, although TV replays suggested he had edged the ball. The third and final Test starts in Mumbai from Tuesday.