Last year, the Indian cricket team came here to play a Test match and had to sit by and look at the Queen’s Park Oval outfield and not play any cricket. A damp outfield kept them indoors. Fast forward to a year later and the rain came belting down to deny them another match at the mecca of local cricket.
A total of 39.2 overs were possible and in that time the Indians raced to 199 for three before the heavens opened to put an end to the first match of the Seagrams five-match series. The teams will return to the Oval tomorrow hoping to play the second match weather permitting.
The heavy rainfall that has been experienced in Trinidad over the last week continued and the heavy downpour at the Oval left the outfield unplayable. Earlier, the West Indies won the toss and decided to insert India, hoping to make early inroads into their batting with swing available early in the morning. The 9am start would have influenced skipper Jason Holder’s decision. However, soon after he must have regretted that decision as Indian openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan played unfussed.
With the West Indies attack far from menacing, the duo piled on the runs much to the disappointment of the handful of spectators who showed for the match. Dhawan coming off an excellent Champions Trophy started off rapidly, while Rahane was comfortable with constructing an innings.
Soon after adjusting to the conditions of the pitch, Rahane blossomed beautifully and played an array of wonderful strokes all around the ground. The two recorded the third Indian century opening stand in the Caribbean before being separated. Young fast bowler Alzari Joseph produced a slower delivery which was scooped into the air by the right hander Rahane with his score on 62. He faced 78 balls and struck eight fours.
Yuvraj Singh followed and saw the demise of Dhawan after a wonderful knock of 87. He was trapped leg before to Devendra Bishoo playing across the line. He faced 92 balls, sending eight to the boundary and two over it. Holder then accounted for Singh (4) to retard the scoring rate.
Skipper Virat Kohli and former captain MS Dhoni then came together and was setting up nicely for a late assault when the rain arrived. Kohli was not out on 32 of 47 balls, while Dhoni was on nine.
WI vs India
A Rahane c Holder b Joseph 62
S Dhawan lbw Bishoo 87
V Kohli not out 32
Y Singh c Lewis b Holder 4
MS Dhoni not out 9
Extras w5 5
Total for 3 wkts (39.2ovs) 199
Fall of wkts: 132, 168, 185.
Bowling: J Holder 8-0-34-1, A Joseph 8-0-53-1, A Nurse 4-1-22-0, M Cummins 8-0-46-0, D Bishoo 10-1-39-1, J Carter 1.2-0-5-0.