Kolkata: Ever-reliable Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck an unbeaten 91 and shared an unbroken 170-run stand with Narsingh Deonarine (83) as the West Indies reached a solid 333 for four against Uttar Pradesh on the opening day of their practice match, here Thursday.
It was a good batting show by the visitors ahead of the Test series against India as four batsmen from the Caribbean side scored half-centuries. Chanderpaul and Deonarine (83) will resume their fifth- wicket partnership Friday. After Chris Gayle's failure, Kieran Powell (64) and Darren Bravo (61) built the innings with a 112-run second wicket partnership but the Piyush Chawla-led UP side had a two-wicket burst to leave the visitors 149/3 at the midway stage.
But Chanderpaul, who is eyeing a milestone 150th Test in Mumbai, once again proved to be the thorn in the flesh as he initially looked rock solid with his defence before taking on the UP bowlers. He hit 11 fours and two sixes. There was some excitement in the air after Darren Sammy opted to bat to have the first feel of the conditions but Gayle's was a subdued knock that lasted only 25 balls. He was beaten by an Imtiaz Ahmed in-swinger that stayed low before skidding onto his stumps.
The UP medium-pacer who came in as the first change got rid of the explosive opener in a fine first spell of four overs that had three maidens and the prized scalp. The day's proceedings began an hour late because of the dew factor as the it was an early lunch with the Windies 37/1 in 14 overs.
The UP bowlers extracted fine swing while it stayed low sometimes as the Windies had a tentative start to their innings in the first session. But as the day progressed the wicket became easy to bat on while the luck too helped the visitors as Bravo was dropped shortly after lunch by Ankit Rajput at mid-off off Chawla.
Bravo went on to make a half-century from 63 balls in a brisk knock, while Powell took his time as he too completed 50 in the second-wicket partnership. Windies looked set for a big one, Chawla made a smart change bringing in their strike bowler RP Singh from the pavillion end.
The former India pacer broke the partnership in the second over of his second spell in the form of Bravo who played on, while Powell too followed suit in the next over after being castled by offspinner Arish Alam. As for the bowling, the UP side looked ordinary barring Ahmed's first spell while captain Chawla known for his 'googly' was easily negotiated by the Windies batsmen.
The Windies picked some fringe players to give them an opportunity ahead of the two-Test series. They opted for left-arm orthodox Veersammy Permaul over an experienced off-spinner Shane Shillingford while in the pace bowling line-up Sheldon Cotterrell, who is yet to play a Test match, got a chance ahead of Kemar Roach.
In the batting, Kirk Edwards, who was been in sublime captaining A side in the tour to India, was rested to give a chance to Deonarine.