West Indies bowlers bowled their heart out and almost dominated the opening day of the first Test against India. In fact, if it was not for the valiant counter-attack worth 146 runs from Suresh Raina (84) and Harbhajan Singh (70), India would have ended the day on an extremely embarrassing note. Instead, the visitors managed to claim a wicket and keep Darren Sammy's side 212 runs behind at close of play.
India did manage to win the toss but it was Ravi Rampaul who snared the openers early on to seize the early initiative. Murali Vijay (8) became his first victim while debutant Abhinav Mukund (11)was cleaned up soon after.Â India's top-order looked ill at ease as VVS Laxman (12) surrendered to Devendra Bishoo and Virat Kohli (4) edged one behind off Fidel Edwards. The break for lunch would not have left the Indians with much of an appetite with the score on 69 for 4.
Though Rahul Dravid did manage to add 40 runs to his Test statistics, it was ended abruptly by Bishoo with India now totering at 83 for 5. In walked skipper MS Dhoni and played all of a single delivery before he was sent back by Bishoo who now looked unforgiving.
It was now that Raina and Harbhajan got together and the duo looked edgy at first but soon settled in. Harbhajan raced to his half-century despite coming in after his partner and his eventual score of 70 came off just 74 deliveries.
Raina played the mature innings and helped himself to 82 runs off 115 deliveries but once Harbhajan departed, it was mayhem once again. India lost four of it's remaining wickets for 16 runs as Edwards cleaned up the tail to finish with four wickets.
West Indies replied with a chase that would better be termed as painfully slow rather than watchful. Ishant SharmaÂ rose to the occasion with the ball and eventually got rid of a tentative Lendl Simmons (3). The other opener in Adrian Barath (26*) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (2*)Â denied the Indian bowlers any further success and finished the day with the team score on 34, 212 still remaining before a lead can be mounted.