Tendulkar is the first to 15,000 Test runs

West Indies 304 & 180 India 209 & 152-2

Sachin Tendulkar passed 15,000 Test runs as India closed in on a comfortable victory over West Indies in the first Test at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium yesterday.

The world's leading run-scorer in Tests and one-dayers became the first to touch the new mark with a single off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to move to 28 on his way to 33 not out at stumps on day three. Tendulkar raised his bat and looked towards the sky on reaching the landmark and was congratulated by batting partner Rahul Dravid and the West Indies players.

The day's play finished soon after, with Dravid not out on 30, Virender Sehwag having contributed 55 and India at 152 for 2, chasing 276 for victory. India are in such a strong position thanks mainly to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who took 6 for 47 to help bowl out West Indies for 180 in their second innings.

Ashwin became the second most successful India bowler on debut with match figures of 9 for 128.

Ashwin's impressive haul justified the faith of the selectors, who picked him ahead of Harbhajan Singh. "I didn't expect any particular number of wickets, but before the Test I was hoping to get a five-wicket haul," Ashwin said. "I have never got wickets on such a pitch as I need spin and bounce."

Ashwin said he had managed to remain focused even though it was his debut. "I don't think I had that many nerves. I never thought that I'd be playing alongside so many Test cricketers," he said.

AP

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