West Indies 189 for 8 (Holder 10*, Cummins 0*, Ishant 5-42) trail India 297 (Rahane 81, Jadeja 58, Roach 4-66) by 108 runs
A blazing final spell from Ishant Sharma, in which he took three wickets in two overs, broke West Indies' resistance on the second day of the first Test in North Sound.
Ishant reduced West Indies from 174 for 5 to 179 for 8, tilting a see-sawing day in India's favour. He picked up his ninth five-wicket haul in the process, finishing the day with 5 for 42, but it wasn't his only contribution. Ishant's crucial 19 runs, part of a 60-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja in the morning, helped set up India's 297.
West Indies batted two full sessions on the day - losing three wickets after lunch and a further five after tea. At stumps, they were 108 runs behind with only two wickets in hand.
They began their innings positively, with John Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite seeing off new-ball spells from Ishant and Jasprit Bumrah without much trouble, with Campbell in particular looking aggressive. He found the boundary four times in the first seven overs, which forced Virat Kohli to bring in Mohammed Shami, who struck right away, as Campbell's inside edge dragged a yorker onto his stumps.
Brathwaite and debutant Shamarh Brooks consolidated over the next ten overs, but scored only 12 runs in the period. Ishant's inswingers kept both batsmen in check, while Jadeja's accuracy dried up the runs. When Ishant bowled full in the 18th over, Brathwaite tried to drive him straight back, but a turning bat forced the ball to pop up, knee-high, for Ishant, who was composed enough in the follow through, to hold on.
Brooks looked mature in the middle, but he fell trying to cut Jadeja shortly before the tea break. At 50 for 2, he failed to pick the arm ball and made room to cut one that was too close to him. It found the outside edge, only to lob off the wicketkeeper's thigh to first slip. Two quick wickets brought two new batsmen - Roston Chase and Darren Bravo - in the middle and they had to rebuild.
Bravo took the aggressive route despite the three early wickets. Two fours set the tone for his innings, and a lofted six over long-on made it appear that he was not going to waste balls that were there to hit. But he was trapped lbw for 18 by Bumrah, who steamed in from around the wicket and struck Bravo in front of the stumps with a wobbly length ball, as he missed the flick. Bravo asked for a review but it was unsuccessful.
Chase looked the most efficient West Indies batsman on the day, finding the gaps off the fast bowlers and unafraid to take on Jadeja. He smacked the left-arm spinner over long-on and even pinched seven runs off a Bumrah over. An exquisite cover drive off Shami for four in the 42nd over was followed by an inside edge that just missed the stumps, but Chase was gone next over anyway. Trying to flick Ishant, Chase, on 48, handed a catch straight to short midwicket, where an alert KL Rahul latched on. At that stage, West Indies were 130 for 5, still trailing by 167.
West Indies' long batting order - with Shimron Hetmyer at No. 7 - briefly appeared handy. Hetmyer survived a vicious over from Bumrah, where he nearly edged a catch to slip, but soon found his footing. He sliced Jadeja over mid-off for a four, while Shai Hope kept the runs ticking. Searching for a wicket, Kohli introduced part-time offspinner Hanuma Vihari, but both batsmen, who play spin well, thwarted his efforts.
Following a brief rain delay, play continued but Hope was soon dismissed and that ended the 44-run sixth-wicket stand. As Hope tried to defend a length delivery from Ishant, the ball cut away from him to take the edge and Rishabh Pant did well to dive forward, with the ball dipping towards his right.
Jason Holder walked in late in the evening, and together with Hetmyer looked to see the day off. But Ishant wasn't done. Hetmyer drove a full delivery back to Ishant who dived to hold on to the shin-high catch for his second caught-and-bowled dismissal of the day.
That exposed West Indies' tail and they were further dented when Kemar Roach fell three balls later, edging Ishant's cross-seamed delivery to Kohli at second slip. Ishant's fifth wicket was West Indies' eighth. He could have had a sixth when Holder top-edged in the next over in the direction of third man, but Vihari - racing in - failed to reach there in time. As play ended, it was a day of missed opportunities for West Indies. Each of their frontline batsmen went into double digits, but no one managed a fifty.
Earlier in the day, Jadeja and Ishant frustrated the hosts with the bat for the majority of the first session. Their effort helped India nearly reach 300, as the visitors added 94 runs to their overnight total of 203 for 6.
India lost overnight batsman Pant in the day's third over. From around the wicket, Roach found the outside edge with a ball that left the batsman who was trying to drive, only to be caught by Holder at second slip. Thereafter, Ishant bunted the few balls that were aimed at the stumps while patiently leaving those that weren't. Jadeja dealt in ones and twos while picking boundaries whenever he found the opportunity to free his arms.
Jadeja made use of the short ball he got from Holder when he went around the wicket and then pulled Roach's short delivery for another four.
The short ball, however, was not so easy for Ishant, although he did play at them with soft hands. He was often attacked with the deliveries aimed at his midriff, and many balls from Holder came off Ishant's glove or handle. A few even fell marginally short of square leg, before Ishant fell to Shannon Gabriel, dismissed by a slow yorker outside the off stump. Ishant tried to dig the ball out, but only managed to roll it back onto the stumps.
Shami lasted just one ball, and when No. 11 Bumrah walked in, Jadeja upped the scoring rate. He slapped Gabriel past the slip cordon to stamp his intent, and with Bumrah lasting 15 balls, Jadeja completed his 11th half-century by cutting through point. Playing as the only designated spinner in the team, Jadeja played a near-chanceless innings up until his fifty. Shortly after hitting the Test's first six, Jadeja tried to hook Holder but ended up slicing a catch to wicketkeeper Hope, who collected his fifth catch.