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Cricket | International

Kumar, Sharma help India clinch test



India secured a 63-run victory over West Indies on day four of the first cricket test at Sabina Park with swing bowler Praveen Kumar claiming the key wickets of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo on Thursday.

The hosts, 131-3 overnight, were bowled out 35 minutes after lunch for 262.

India scored 246 and 252, while West Indies was on the back foot after posting 173 in its first innings.

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Kumar, on his debut and sporting a fresh crewcut, claimed 3-42 in the second innings while his new-ball partner Ishant Sharma took 3-81.

Legspinner Amit Mishra grabbed 2-62 while offspinners Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina grabbed one wicket apiece.

Bravo top-scored with 41 while left-hander Ravi Rampaul provided some resistance in the lower order with a run-a-ball 34.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was full of praise for Kumar, who had a match haul of 6-80.

"He's a very skillful bowler. If there's anything for him, he can definitely make it big," Dhoni said. "That's what you saw on this wicket.

"He's not a bowler who's real quick when it comes to pace but he's very skillful. He can swing the ball either way and he's very consistent with his line and length. That was the main reason why he got six wickets in this game."

TELLING DOUBLE STRIKE

Kumar made a telling double strike half an hour into the fourth day.

Bravo and Chanderpaul had stretched their overnight partnership to 68 before the Uttar Pradesh bowler struck in successive overs to undermine the chase.

Bravo, after hitting seven fours off 89 balls, came too far across his stumps and had his leg stump hit by Kumar from around the wicket.

One run later, Chanderpaul drove straight to extra cover where Suresh Raina hauled in an easy catch.

The veteran left-hander hit four fours in 30 off 73 balls.

West Indies slipped to 150-6 when Carlton Baugh fell for a duck as India claimed a third wicket in the space of two runs.

Baugh, on his 29th birthday, turned a catch to leg slip off Harbhajan.

Captain Darren Sammy countered the crisis with an aggressive approach, launching Harbhajan for three sixes off consecutive balls into the North Stand on the leg side.

He compiled 25 off 11 balls before he stroked the first delivery from Mishra straight to VVS Laxman at extra cover. Sammy later blamed the batting failures for the defeat.

"We as batsmen when we go out there, we have to focus and be more mentally tough, playing the situations and thinking of the team and hopefully we can come out victorious," Sammy said.

SOME FIGHT AT THE END

Brendan Nash continued his struggles in 2011 when Mishra claimed him lbw soon afterwards at 188-8 with one that crept low.

Rampaul and Fidel Edwards showed some fight in a ninth-wicket stand of 35 in half an hour.

Rampaul dominated the association, playing some handsome strokes that earned him six fours and a six over extra cover off Harbhajan.

But just before lunch, he received a brute of a delivery from Sharma, and wicketkeeper Dhoni leapt high to pouch a one-handed catch.

Edwards (15 not out) and Devendra Bishoo extended the match to 35 minutes after lunch with a composed last-wicket stand of 39.

Part-timer Raina produced the winning wicket once he was brought on for his first over of the day.

Bishoo, after hitting two fours and a six off 33 balls, was eventually bowled as the ball trickled back onto off stump from his defensive stroke.

Edwards struck one four off 54 balls.

The second test begins in Bridgetown, Barbados next Tuesday.

Report Day 1
Report Day 2
Report Day 3

Teams:

West Indies: LMP Simmons, AB Barath, RR Sarwan, DM Bravo, S Chanderpaul, BP Nash, CS Baugh†, DJG Sammy*, R Rampaul, D Bishoo, FH Edwards

India: M Vijay, A Mukund, R Dravid, VVS Laxman, V Kohli, SK Raina, MS Dhoni*†, Harbhajan Singh, I Sharma, A Mishra, Praveen Kumar

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