Rain spoils opening day proceedings in fourth Test

Friday, Aug 19, 2016,12:19 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Port of Spain | Rain played spoilsport on the opening day of the first cricket Test between India and the West Indies as only 22 overs were bowled during which the visitors struck twice before play was called off, here Thursday.

India removed two West Indies batsmen — Leon Johnson and Darren Bravo — before rain forced early lunch break and play could never resume after that.

The hosts were 62 for two with Kraigg Brathwaite (32) and Marlon Samuels (4) at the crease.

The intermittent rain ended any chance of resumption of play even as the ground staff also struggled to keep ground play ready.

The play will start 30 minutes early tomorrow, with a maximum of 98 over to be bowled.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/13) and Mohammed Shami (0-14) started off proceedings after the hosts elected to bat, half an hour past the scheduled time with the session timings adjusted accordingly.

Under overcast conditions, the two pacers got enough purchase with the new ball and squared up both batsmen on more than a couple occasions from both ends. Kumar, in particular, continued from where he left off in St. Lucia.

And he should have had his reward, but skipper Virat Kohli dropped Brathwaite (on 4) in the 3rd over off Kumar, unable to latch on to the low one-handed catch at second slip.

Shami though was a touch wayward and it allowed the batsmen to score off him at times. It necessitated bringing Ishant Sharma (1/7) into the attack, and he delivered off the very first ball.

Johnson could not keep down a short delivery in the 12th over, and lobbed it up for Rohit Sharma to complete an easy catch at short leg, diving forward.

Spin was introduced in the 13th over then, and in his very second over, R Ashwin (1/22) slipped a beauty past Darren Bravo (10) and knocked back his off stump.

Marlon Samuels (4 batting) then joined Brathwaite at the crease, and the two took the score past the 50-mark before rain came again, just 15 minutes before the scheduled lunch was to be taken.

India lead the four-match series 2-0, after winning the first Test in Antigua by an innings and 92 runs, and the third Test in St. Lucia by 237 runs. The second Test in Jamaica was drawn.

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