A seven-wicket haul from Ravichandran Ashwin helped India bowl out West Indies for 231 in the second innings to win by an innings and 72 runs in the opening Test of the four-match series. Carlos Brathwaite and Devendra Bishoo put up some late resistance but Ashwin cleaned up the tail soon after tea.
Brief Scores : India 566/8 declared in 161.5 overs (Kohli 200, Ashwin 113; Brathwaite 3/65) defeated West Indies 243 all-out in 90.2 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 74, Dowrich 57*; Umesh 4/41, Shami 4/66) and 231 in 78 overs (Brathwaite 51*, Samuels 50, Ashwin 7/83).
India started the penultimate day of the Test nine wickets away from a win. Having already bowled out the Windies for 243 in the first innings, the result at Antigua seemed a matter of when rather than what. If there was any doubt, Umesh Yadav ended it in the first over of the day. The pacer, who took four wickets in the first innings, struck early to remove Darren Bravo with Ajinkya Rahane taking a phenomenal catch in the slip cordon.
After Bravo’s dismissal, Marlon Samuels joined Rajendra Chandrika in the middle to frustrate the Indian bowlers. But, India could have had Samuels in the 25th over after a ball from Mohammed Shami found the inside edge of the right hander’s bat. However, the third umpire was not convinced about Wriddhiman Saha’s catch and opted to give Samuels another life. If that was not enough, rain arrived shortly to add to the frustration of the Indians.
An early lunch was taken, and India returned for the post-lunch session hoping to dismantle the Windies batting line-up. Ravichandran Ashwin, who went wicketless in the first innings, provided India a much-needed breakthrough by removing Chandrika for 31. The off-spinner invited the batsman into a shot and the ball turned past him, finding the inside edge on the way. Saha did the rest to end the 67-run partnership for the third wicket.
Similar to the first innings, the Windies lost wickets in a clump and from 88/2 went to 120/7 in a matter of 13 overs. Ashwin was the main man in the destruction of the Windies middle order and removed Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, and Roston Chase in quick succession. The other spinner in the team, Amit Mishra, also joined in on the fun by trapping Shane Dowrich in front of the wicket. Ashwin then castled Jason Holder to get his five-wicket haul. With the wicket he once again got to the unique record of a hundred and a five-wicket haul in one Test, for the second time in his career.
Carlos Brathwaite and Devendra Bishoo put up a dogged defiance for the ninth wicket as they delayed the inevitable. The two scored runs at a fast clip living on the edge cashing in on Kohli's removal of Ashwin from the bowling. The pair put on a 95-run partnership, West Indies' biggest in the match interestingly, before Ashwin returned to take out Bishoo. The offie removed Shannon Gabriel soon after to complete India's win. Celebrations ensued as Kohli and Ashwin uprooted a stump apiece while Anil Kumble joined the team with his signature camera in hand.
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