Sun, Jul 24, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Kohli double-century puts India in charge

AFP, NORTH SOUND, Antigua and Barbuda

India’s Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring a double-century on day two of the first Test match against the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, on Friday.

Photo: AP

Virat Kohli’s first double-century in any form of first-class cricket and Ravichandran Ashwin’s third Test century against the West Indies anchored India’s formidable first innings total of 566-8 declared on the second day of the first Test on Friday.

Left to negotiate a testing hour before the close of play, the West Indies lost Rajendra Chandrika to a catch at the wicket off Mohammed Shami, leaving opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite and nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo to resume on the third morning at 31-1.

On another day of generally fruitless toil for the West Indies, Kohli extended his batting masterclass from the first day for another two hours, adding another 57 runs to reach exactly 200 just before the lunch interval. He became the first Indian captain to score a Test double-century away from home.

Any expectation of more of the virtuoso performance was ended off the second delivery upon the resumption when he played on to the persevering and previously unlucky Shannon Gabriel. Kohli’s innings spanned a little more than six hours and was embellished by 24 fours off 283 deliveries.

Dropped on 43 by new wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich off Gabriel in the morning session, Ashwin played the supporting role to his captain in a 168-run fifth-wicket stand that drained the enthusiasm from the home side before lunch.

However, Kohli’s surprise demise put the focus squarely on the all-rounder and he made the most of the promotion to No. 6 in the batting order for the first time in his Test career, reaching three figures just before tea with a boundary off the tiring leg-spinner Bishoo.

“It was great to get pushed up the order,” Ashwin said at the end of the day. “I do not get surprised with what I do, because I really enjoy my batting, but I know I still have a lot of work to do to really establish myself in the top six.”

He got good support from wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, who contributed 40 to a 71-run stand for the sixth wicket before he became Dowrich’s first wicketkeeping victim in Test cricket, being stumped off the bowling of part-time off-spinner Brathwaite.

It was the first of three wickets for Brathwaite, who ended Ashwin’s vigil at 113 and then accounted for Amit Mishra for an attacking 53, which prompted the anticipated declaration.

“It is going to take a while for everything to click in the bowling department, because this is a very young group,” West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick said. “Some of our guys need to work on their pace, but it will take some time to get it right.”

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top