Bravo for Bravo's golden run

All-rounder Dwayne Bravo continued his golden run in taking four for 37 as the West Indies reduced India to 235 for nine on the opening day on Friday of the cricket Test at Antigua Recreation Ground.

The 22-year-old Bravo, who was one of the stars of the West Indies’ 4-1 success in the one-day series, was well supported by fellow seamer Corey Collymore, who claimed 3-27.

India captain Rahul Dravid top-scored with a painstaking 49, which spanned four-and-a-quarter hours in his 100th Test.

No other batsman showed the same type of application, and wickets fell at regular intervals, six of them to outside edges.

India were set back early after winning the toss and batting.

Fidel Edwards, the fastest of the West Indian bowlers, removed Wasim Jaffer for one in the third over. Jaffer, on his second tour of the Caribbean, nicked to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin at 10-1.

India’s other opener, Virender Sehwag, reeled off seven boundaries in racing to 36 off 37 balls.

But Collymore struck with his first delivery, with Sehwag edging a catch to captain Brian Lara at second slip at 51-2.

VVS Laxman played with solid assurance for 29 before Dwayne Bravo struck to further dent India 10 minutes before lunch.

The right-hander hit five fours in an hour and 40 minutes before he drove at an outswinger and edged to Ramdin.

India took lunch at 74-3 but enjoyed a better second session as Dravid and Yuvraj Singh revived the innings in a stand of 54 for the fourth wicket.

Just as the visitors were loosening the West Indies’ grip, left-arm wrist-spinner Dave Mohammed provided a key breakthrough when he bowled Yuvraj as he played across the line.

The left-hander hit three fours in 23 off 67 balls.

Mohammad Kaif helped his defiant captain take the total to tea at 144-4. But Kaif fell soon after the break for 13 as Bravo found his inside edge for a catch to the wicketkeeper.

Mahendra Dhoni played aggressively for 19 but he snicked Collymore to second slip and provided Lara with his 150th catch in Tests.

Collymore took the prize wicket of Dravid in his next over as India slumped to 180-7.

Dravid faced 173 balls and was one short of a half-century when he gave Lara another comfortable second-slip catch.
Anil Kumble (21) and Shantha Sreesanth (24 not out) boosted the lower order in an eighth-wicket stand of 47 before Bravo took two wickets just before the close.

Kumble deflected a short ball on to his stumps while debutant Vikram Singh miscued his ambitious swing to extra cover.

Sreesanth and last man Munaf Patel survived to the close.—Sapa-AP

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