Kingston, July 30 (IANS) Middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood’s (62) fighting half-century lifted a lacklustre West Indies to 88/4 at lunch on the opening day of the second Test against India here on Saturday.
Indian seamers utilised the conditions to perfection at the Sabina Park as Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami reduced the hosts to 7/3 before off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck just at the stroke of lunch to put the West Indies on the backfoot.
On what was touted as a pacy green track before the start of the match, Sharma extracted good bounce to dismiss opener Kraigg Brathwaite (1) and then Darren Bravo for a duck off the very next delivery.
Bravo’s poor run with the bat continued as he failed to read the Delhi pacer’s length ball outside off to be caught brilliantly by Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Shami then joined the party by packing the other opener Rajendra Chandrika (5) with a slightly back of length delivery, which induced the right-hander to go for a flash but instead got a thick edge to be caught at slips by Lokesh Rahul.
With the hosts reeling at 7/3, veteran Marlon Samuels and Blackwood led the fightback with a 81-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Blackwood was unfazed with the situation his team was in and started playing his natural game from the start. His run-a-ball 62 included seven boundaries and four sixes before one from Ashwin turned sharply to send him back just before the lunch break.
Samuels (14) and Roston Chase were at the crease when the umpires called for lunch.
Earlier, West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat. They have included debutant pacer Miguel Cummins, replacing all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite.
India, meanwhile picked opener Rahul in the playing XI in place of the injured Murali Vijay.
Brief Scores: West Indies 88/4 (Jermaine Blackwood 62, Marlon Samuels 14 not out, Ishant Sharma 2/24, Mohammed Shami 1/13)
Indo Asian News Service (IANS)
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