September 24, 2023

Five-wicket Siraj slices through West Indies

Mohammed Siraj scythed through the West Indies lower order, completing a five-wicket haul as the home side were bundled out for 255 in their first innings on the fourth morning of the second and final Test against India at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on Sunday.

Mindful of the potential threat of inclement weather, the visitors sped to 98 for one off 12 overs in their second innings before the first rain interruption of the day forced an early lunch with their overall lead already at a healthy 281 runs.

While Siraj claimed the bowling honours with figures of five for 60, it was debutant seam bowling partner Mukesh Kumar who triggered the slide which saw the West Indies losing their last five wickets for 26 runs.

He trapped Alick Athanaze leg-before with the fourth ball of the day and that opened the door for Siraj at the other end, the pacer bowling a full length and making full use of movement through the air and off the seam in humid conditions to dispose of Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.

Those last two wickets came off successive balls which leaves Siraj poised to complete a hat-trick if he strikes with his first delivery of the second innings.

Rohit Sharma then benefited from two simple dropped chances to belt 57 off 44 balls with five fours and three sixes before Joseph held a catch at fine-leg off Gabriel.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (37 not out) and Shubman Gill will continue the push for runs after lunch, weather permitting.