Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s unbeaten 24th Test century hauled West Indies out of a rut, powering them to 256 for five wickets on the opening day of the first Test against India yesterday.
Chanderpaul (111 not out) featured in a 108-run fourth-wicket stand with opener Kraigg Brathwaite (63) to rebuild the innings after the visitors had slumped to 72-3 soon after lunch.
One of only two West Indies players — Marlon Samuels is the other — with prior experience of having played a Test in India, this was 37-year-old Chanderpaul’s seventh century against the hosts containing seven fours and two sixes.
Carlton Baugh (19 not out) was batting with Chanderpaul in the middle at stumps, as West Indies managed to recover after India spinners Pragyan Ojha (3-58) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2-79) had wrecked their top order.
The tourists got off to a poor start after skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and decided to bat first at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
Aware of their spin frailty, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni brought left-arm spinner Ojha into the attack in the 10th over and was soon rewarded.
Ojha dropped Kieran Powell (14) off his sixth delivery, but made amends when he returned to trap the batsman LBW in his next over.
Ojha struck again in the 24th over when the in-form Kirk Edwards (15) drove forwards to give the spinner a return catch.
Ashwin would not be denied his maiden Test wicket as he forced a delivery through Darren Bravo’s (12) porous defense in the first over after lunch.
However, Brathwaite dug in at the other end and Chanderpaul looked more at ease against the spinners, even hitting Ashwin for a six midway through his innings.
Ojha ended Brathwaite’s 262-minute vigil by getting him stumped soon after the tea break and Ashwin had Samuels (15) caught behind.