Kingston, June 23 (PTI): India allowed the West Indies tailenders to delay the inevitable before wrapping up the first cricket Test with a comfortable 63-run win inside four days and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series here today.
Chasing a victory target of 326, West Indies never recovered from the twin-blow dealt by debutant Praveen Kumar dismissing Darren Bravo (41) and Shivanarine Chanderpaul (30) as they were all out for 262 in 68.2 overs.
The final pair of Devendra Bishoo (26, 33 balls, 2x4, 1x6) and Fidel Edwards (15 not out, 54 balls, 1x4) frustrated the Indian bowlers for around 10 overs after lunch. It was Suresh Raina who effected a freak dismissal with the ball rolling onto the stumps after hitting Bishoo�s thigh-pads to bring an end to the proceedings. It was a clinical performance by the Indian bowlers with Praveen being the pick, snaring three for 42 and ending with a six-wicket haul in his very first Test match.
Ishant Sharma (3/81) bowled some poor deliveries but got crucial breakthroughs. The Indians blew away the middle and lower-middle order in the morning session where the home team needing a further 195 for a victory lose six wickets with an addition of 95 runs. This was India�s second victory at the Sabina Park having clinched the series with a win during their tour of 2006. This is also their fifth overall win on Caribbean soil.
The two teams now travel to Barbados where the second Test match will be held at Kensington Oval from June 28.
It was Praveen�s incisive morning spell that sealed the issue for the Indians after a 68- run stand for the fourth wicket between Bravo and Chanderpaul. From 148 for three, the hosts were suddenly struggling at 149 for five.
The track was deteriorating as some deliveries kept taking off from the good length spot while a few kept very low. In general, it was a struggle for survival for the West Indian batsmen. All the lower order batsmen like Ravi Rampaul (34, 32 balls, 6x4, 1x6), Bishoo and Edwards showed stomach for fight, it was pity the top-order didn�t have enough gumption to do so.
The first half an hour didn�t have any indication of what was to follow as Praveen got into the act. Bravo, who had looked confident, shuffled across as Praveen angled one into him that sent his leg-stump for a toss. Chanderpaul was one man who could have been depended upon for his doggedness, but he too perished when a Praveen delivery stopped and came onto him as he committed onto a cover drive. All he could do was to lob a simple catch to Suresh Raina as it was virtually all over for the Caribbeans.
Carlton Baugh (0) was done in by an off-break from Harbhajan that kicked up to take his glove off to the leg-slip.
Darren Sammy (25, 11 balls, 1x4, 3x6) came in and blasted Harbhajan for three consecutive sixes but didn�t have patience to survive. Amit Mishra got into the act as Sammy failed to check his shot and offered simple catch to VVS Laxman at covers.