Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- India beat the West Indies by five wickets in the opener of their best-of-three Test cricket series to end a run of six matches without a win.
VVS Laxman struck 58 not out to guide India to the victory target of 276 after the lunch break on day four in New Delhi. Sachin Tendulkar earlier got out for 76, falling 24 runs short of becoming the first player to score 100 centuries in international cricket.
India, which hadn’t won a Test since a 63-run victory over the West Indies in June, is playing its first elite series since losing the No. 1 ranking in August with a 4-0 defeat to England.
“Test cricket doesn’t always go the way you want it to go so it’s good to be on the winning side,” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said at the televised presentation ceremony.
After notching his 62nd half-century in Tests today, Tendulkar added another 26 runs before he was trapped leg- before-wicket by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo while attempting a pull shot in the second hour of the morning session.
Tendulkar, who yesterday became the first batsman to reach 15,000 Test runs, added 43 to his overnight score of 33 as India resumed at 152-2 needing another 124 runs for the victory.
Laxman took over following Tendulkar’s dismissal, reaching 50 for the 55th time in Tests before scoring the winning single to take India to 276-5. He was initially credited with hitting a boundary for the winning runs.
The West Indies had slumped to 180 all out in its second innings after taking a 95-run lead on the first innings. Spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin was named as the man of the match after taking nine wickets for 128 runs in his Test debut.
“We didn’t bat as we were supposed to in the second innings and it cost us,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy. “We didn’t have enough runs on the board.”
The second Test in Kolkata starts Nov. 14 ahead of the final match in Mumbai.
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