India wilt in heat of fierce pace attack: Cricket

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The Independent Online
Undermined by controlled fast bowling on a treacherous pitch of uneven bounce, India were routed for 81 by the West Indies here yesterday and beaten by 38 runs only 50 minutes after lunch on the fourth day of the third Test.

India's hopes of achieving only their third victory in the Caribbean, and their first in 21 years, quickly evaporated as Franklyn Rose, Ian Bishop and Curtly Ambrose exploited thehard, dry, well-grassed surface.

Rose, the newest off the production line, began India' woes with his pace and accuracy that brought him the first three wickets in a compelling opening spell. Bishop and Ambrose finished the job.

The unsettling nature of the pitch, evident throughout but increasingly so as the match progressed, was revealed by the contrasting dismissals of opener Navjot Singh Sidhu and the left-handed Saurav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin.

Sidhu, for example, in an act of panic and self-preservation, thrust his bat at a delivery from Rose that might have decapitated him and was caught off the resulting lob to third slip.

Ganguly and Azharuddin had their stumps shattered by deliveries from Ambrose that threatened their shins. After dispatching Sidhu, Rose had Rahul Dravid caught behind with a lifting leg-cutter and then breached opener Venkata Laxman's hesitant defensive stroke to hit the off stump. The West Indies had seized the initiative but they could not rest easily until they got rid of Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian captain and finest player. It required only 25 minutes and 14 deliveries before his edged drive at Bishop's outswinger was expertly taken low down at first slip by Lara.

Ganguly and Azharuddin followed once Ambrose replaced Rose at the northern end. While Rose had made the ball leap disconcertingly Ambrose, from an even greater height, made it skip through to the consternation of both batsmen.

By lunch Bishop had also accounted for Anil Kumble. Victory came when Bishop shattered the stumps of Prasad for his fourth wicket to give West Indies a 1-0 lead in the series.

(Fourth day; India won toss)

WEST INDIES -First innings 298 (S Chanderpaul 137).

INDIA - First innings 319 (R S Dravid 78)

WEST INDIES - Second innings 140 (A Kuruvilla 5-68).

INDIA - Second innings

(Overnight: 2 for 0)

V V S Laxman b Rose 19

N S Sidhu c Williams b Rose 3

R S Dravid c Browne b Rose 2

*S R Tendulkar c Lara b Bishop 4

S Ganguly b Ambrose 8

M Azharuddin b Ambrose 9

N R Mongia b Bishop 5

A Kumble c Holder b Bishop 1

D Ganesh not out 6

A Kuruvilla c Holder b Ambrose 9

B K V Prasad b Bishop 0

Extras (b2, lb2, nb11) 15

Total (35.5 overs) 81

Fall: 1-3, 2-16, 3-32, 3-32, 4-45, 5-51, 6-57, 7-66, 8-80 8-81.

Bowling: Ambrose 15-3-36-3; Bishop 11.5-4-22-4; Rose 9-2-19-3.

Umpires: L Barker (WI) and S Randell (Aus).