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India dominate Day 1 in Mumbai, Tendulkar unbeaten on 38

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Sachin Tendulkar's 200th and Final Test match kicked off in Mumbai this morning with India winning the toss and inviting West Indies to have a bat. The pitch had a tinge of green and a bit of life in it and the West Indies top order was in for a testing first session at the very least. India was predictably unchanged for this game while the Windies bolstered their batting by adding batting allrounder Narsingh Deonarine to their line-up in place of spinner Veerasammy Permaul while left arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell made way for 25 year old paceman Shannon Gabriel.

India struck early in the morning with Mohammad Shami continuing his dream introduction to test cricket by getting rid of the dangerman Chris Gayle, caught in the gully for just 11. The Indian seamers were beating the bat with monotonous regularity and Bhuvneshwar Kumar should have added his name to the wicket takers column only to see R Ashwin spill a regulation catch at first slip granting Kieran Powell a second life. The youngster made the most of the opportunity and batted out the opening session to end unbeaten on 45.

Powell was getting useful support from a patient Darren Bravo, who once again got off to a start, making 29 before falling caught behind to Ashwin to end a promising stand worth 61 for the second wicket. Ashwin was unlucky not to get Marlon Samuels second ball with a nasty delivery from the offspinner catchign the edge but falling in no-man's land.

The West Indies would have been pleased with having lost just 2 wickets in a challenging opening session, whilst also posting 93 runs on the board.

All that changed in a dramatic second session with the visitors losing their next 8 wickets for just 89 runs with Pragyan Ojha running through the West Indies lower order taking 5-40. The left-arm spinner wasn't bowled in the first session, but was handed the ball right at the start of the second. Ojha took 7 balls to get in on the action, having Kieran Powell caught at bat pad for 48.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, playing in his 150th Test match, marched out at no.5 and stitched together a 43 run stand with Marlon Samuels. Chanderpaul kicked off his milestone game by dancing down the track and smashing Ojha over midwicket for six to get off the mark. The veteran left-hander raced through his innings, Samuels at the other end was struggling right through and Ojha ended his struggles for 19, caught at slip.

India dropped another 2 catches in the second session, but despite that there was no stopping the spinners, especially after Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Chanderpaul for 25 with a ball that took the outside edge and was snapped up by Ashwin.

Ashwin took 3-45 to chip in with his fair share of wickets, and became the fastest bowler to get to 100 wickets since 1931 when he had Darren Sammy caught attempting a wild slog. Ojha meanwhile ran through the rest and richly deserved his fifer as the Windies were bundled out for 182.

India made another blistering start to their innings, scoring at better than a run a ball in the early stages of their innings. Both openers looked in quite awesome touch and some poor ground fielding by the West Indies helped India to pile on the runs. Shikhar Dhawan made 33 from just 28 balls before a mistimed sweep shot against the turn saw him fall to Shane Shillingford for the second time in as many games before the offspinner removed a disappointed Murali Vijay two balls later for 43, caught at bat pad having failed to read the top spinner.

That brought the Wankhede Stadium to its feet as the whole of India came to a standstill to see Sachin Tendulkar walk out to bat for perhaps the very last time. Tendulkar obliged his millions of fans by turning back the clock and playing some classical drives that were very reminiscent of him in the last 90s. The Little Master set himself for the long haul, posting 38 and batting through till the close of play, sharing an unbeaten stand of 80 with Cheteshwar Pujara (34*) who had arguably the best seat in the house.

The Wankhede is certain to see a packed house tomorrow with Tendulkar opening proceedings, and fans of the living legend will hope to see him end his career in style with his 52nd Test century. As far as the match itself is concerned, India ended the day at 157-2, just 25 shy of the West Indies' total and with so much batting still to come, look set to take a decisive first innings lead.


India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Mohammed Shami

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy (c), Shane Shillingford, Shannon Gabriel, Tino Best

Mini Scorecard:

West Indies 1st Innings 182 all out (55.2 overs)

K Powell 48 (80) P Ojha 5-40

D Bravo 29 (63) R Ashwin 3-45

India 1st Innings 157-2 (34 overs)

M Vijay 43 (55) S Shillingford 2-46

S Tendulkar 38* (73)