NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Shivnarine Chanderpaul enhanced his reputation as a nemesis for India with an unbeaten century to power West Indies to 256 for five on the opening day of the first test on Sunday.
The 37-year-old left-hander with an unorthodox stance shone in a 108-run fourth wicket stand with protege Kraigg Brathwaite (63) to bail out the team that was reeling at 72-3 soon after lunch.
Chanderpaul was batting on 111 off 167 balls at stumps, having hit seven fours and two sixes in what was his seventh century against India and 24th overall.
Carlton Baugh was giving him company on 19 as West Indies made a substantial recovery after the Indian spin duo of Pragyan Ojha (3-58) and debutant Ravichandran Ashwin (2-79) had mauled their top order.
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy’s decision to bat first appeared to have boomeranged as his counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni exploited the visitors’ spin frailty.
Ojha was brought into the attack in the 10th over and the left-arm spinner did not let his captain down.
Ojha dropped Kieran Powell (14) off his sixth delivery but made amends when he returned to trap the batsman leg before in his next over.
Ashwin was pressed into service for a two-pronged spin attack and Ojha struck again in the 24th over when the in-form Kirk Edwards (15) drove forwards to give the spinner a return catch.
Ashwin forced a delivery through Darren Bravo’s (12) porous defence in the first over after lunch for his maiden test wicket before Brathwaite and Chanderpaul dug in.
“He played really well, playing it his way which is very patient. I think he did his job,” Chanderpaul told reporters of teenager Brathwaite, who grew up idolising him.
Ojha eventually ended Brathwaite’s 262-minute vigil by getting him stumped soon after the tea break and Ashwin had Marlon Samuels (15) caught behind.
Dhoni’s role on both occasions made him the Indian stumper with the highest number of test dismissals (200) against his name.
“The stumping was amazing. I deceived him with flight and I really enjoyed the dismissal,” Ojha said.
“They were trying to bat with lot of discipline. They were playing straight and with not too many fancy shots.”
The spinner was full of admiration for Chanderpaul.
“More than his stance, he brings a lot of experience. We had a couple of half-chances while he was sweeping the ball. I enjoyed bowling to the legend. Hopefully I’ll get him out tomorrow.”
Editing by Mark Meadows; To comment on this story, email email@example.com