Centurions Park

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Oct 2018 11:10:19




Jadeja slams maiden ton, Kohli 24th; bowlers strike as West indies reduced to 94 for 6

VIRAT Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja ravaged a clueless West Indian attack with strokeful hundreds as India headed towards a demolishing win with another near-perfect performance on Day Two of the first cricket Test here.
The hosts piled up 649/9 in their first innings before reducing West Indies to 94 for six in 29 overs when stumps were drawn for the day.

After Prithvi Shaw’s pehnomenal ton on debut on Day One, skipper Kohli (139) and Jadeja (100 not out) made hundreds as India put up a mammoth 649 for nine in their first innings before declaring at tea. It was a maiden Test ton for Jadeja, who had to wait for almost six years to reach three figures in the five-day format.

In response, the West Indies were in all sorts of trouble, first against pacer Mohammad Shami before the spinners cleaned up the middle order. They trail India by 555 runs and the hosts will fancy themselves to bowl them out twice by Day Three.

Shami bowled a fiery opening spell of four overs, conceding just five runs and removing acting captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell to leave the West Indies at two for seven in the fifth over.The West Indies were always going to find it tough against India, more so without their captain Jason Holder and senior pacer Kemar Roach.Their sorry batting performance came after a forgettable outing with the ball as India piled on the runs.  By tea, Jadeja had struck an unbeaten 100 off 132 off balls to be the third centurion of the innings. His whirlwind effort in front of his home crowd came after skipper Kohli completedhis 24th Test hundred in the morning.

Jadeja had to wait till his 38th Test to reach three figures, having made his debut back in December 2012. Playing with number eleven batsman Shami, he experienced the nervous 90s before finally getting to the milestone in the final over before tea.

It has been a good last 30 days for the southpaw, who scored a gritty 86 in the final Test in England before making an ODI comeback with the Asia Cup in Dubai. Jadeja enthralled the sparse crowd at the SCA stadium with aerial hits which came mainly off the spinners. He ended up with five boundaries and as many sixes. India made 143 runs in the afternoon session, scoring at close to 4.5 runs an over. Kohli did not last long post the lunch break and Jadeja gave the innings further impetus.

In the morning session, Kohli and Rishabh Pant (92 off 84) had taken India to 506 for five.Kohli, who was 72 not out overnight, took time to knock off the 28 runs needed for yet another hundred while his partner Pant, who resumed at 17, went all guns blazing.

A second Test hundred in his fourth Test was for the taking but Pant, attempting another six over mid-wicket, failed to pick the googly and top-edged it for a simple catch to Keemo Paul at backward point. His entertaining innings was laced with eight fours and four sixes. With Pant picking boundaries at will, Kohli was in no hurry get to the hundred and when he did get there, the India skipper became the second fastest to 24 Test hundreds behind only Donald Bradman, who took 66 innings to Kohli’s 123.

Pant, who made his debut series in England memorable with a hundred, played his usual attacking game from ball one, flicking it nonchalantly through square leg to get going. Kohli enjoyed his team-mates’ fluent strokeplay from the other end as Pant raced to his half century with a four and six off pacer Paul. He used his strong wrists to get to the desired elevation and distance. It was a display of brute power.