West Indies show some fight before Kohli puts India on top

July 21, 2023 in Sports

Virat Kohli moved to within 13 runs of his 29th test ton on his 500th international appearance as India rallied from a rocky afternoon session to reach 288-4 against West Indies at stumps Thursday on the first day of the second test.

Kolhi is 87 not out in his 111th test after 274 one-day internationals and 115 Twenty20 matches. He moved 10th on the list of combined appearances in the three formats, which another India great Sachin Tendulkar tops with 664.

Kohli brought up his 30th test 50 with a boundary against left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (1-55). Ravindra Jadeja (36 not out) is with Kohli at the crease in an unbroken 106-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

India dominated the opening session at Queen’s Park Oval, going to lunch at 121-0 in 26 overs, before West Indies hit back with four wickets in the afternoon. India were pinned back at 182-4 at tea after almost 51 overs.

Pacer Jason Holder ended India’s 139-run opening stand by claiming Yashasvi Jaiswal (57), who was caught by Kirk McKenzie. No. 3 Shubman Gill (10) was then caught behind off Kemar Roach (1-64) and Warrican bowled India captain Rohit Sharma shortly afterward for 80, which included two sixes and nine fours.

Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal for 8 against Shannon Gabriel (1-50) triggered tea with the hosts back in the match.

But India reclaimed the advantage after the interval and once again it was Kohli driving the team on, playing a patient innings of 161 balls with eight boundaries.

West Indies won the toss and chose to bowl first as the hosts try and level the two-match series. The pitch has no grass and is expected to become slower.

It was some honour restored Thursday for West Indies after the home side suffered an innings loss in three days in Dominica last week. India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took a match haul of 12 wickets.

West Indies gave a debut to top-order batter McKenzie for Raymon Reifer and also brought in fast bowler Gabriel for spinner Rahkeem Cornwall. McKenzie, a left-hander like Alick Athanaze who debuted last week, has a first-class average of 39.40 from nine matches.

India are debuting medium-pace bowler Mukesh Kumar after Shardul Thakur suffered a groin issue. Kumar averages 21.55 in first-class cricket.

The match is the 100th between the teams. West Indies have won 30 and India 23, but West Indies have won this contest for 21 years.

The teams first met in a test in 1948 in New Delhi.