West Indies Batsmen Prosper On Opening Day
West Indies 267-2 (Brathwaite 68) v India
Third Test, Mumbai, day one
The West Indies took advantage of a placid Mumbai pitch as four batsmen scored half-centuries to propel them to a score of 267 for two on the opening day of the third and final Test against India.
Openers Adrian Barath (62) and Kraigg Brathwaite (68) set the tone for the day with a 137-run opening stand while at stumps Kirk Edwards and Darren Bravo had added 117 for the third wicket.
Edwards was not out on 65 and Bravo, fresh from a fine century in the second Test, had hit 57 not out in 98 balls.
The West Indies were forced to make two changes to their side after Shivnarine Chanderpaul was ruled out with a calf injury and he was replaced by Kieran Powell as Ravi Rampaul replaced an unwell Kemar Roach while India introduced Virat Kohli and Varun Aaron in place of Yuvraj Singh and Umesh Yadav.
Aaron bowled 16 fruitless overs on a day where bowlers toiled and batsmen prospered and Ravichandran Ashwin was the only bowler who found success, having Barath caught bat-pad by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and then Brathwaite caught by Kohli at short leg.
Barath played a punchy innings, driving powerfully through the covers to hit eight fours while Brathwaite was a little more circumspect, faving 184 deliveries to Barath's 148 and hitting the same number of boundaries, stronger on the cut than Barath.
At 150 for two, it was vital for the tourists that Edwards and Bravo continued the good work of their openers and they were demonstrably up to the challenge.
Edwards powered some booming drives down the ground on his way to 65 in 117 balls with ten fours, also using his muscle to flick the spinners through midwicket.
Bravo continues to elicit comparisons with Brian Lara courtesy of the way he bats and he exhibited more bullet-like piercing drives through the covers and coruscating cut shots as he hit seven fours.
The West Indies were given their chances, however, as VVS Laxman, Dhoni and Rahul Dravid all dropped catches behind the wicket.
All four batsmen proceeded to take them and make India pay.
© Cricket World 2011