Kingston, July 1 -- How often have you seen Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle, two six-foot something behemoths manning the slip region? Or a player celebrating a catch, completely oblivious of the fact that it had come off a free hit due to a no-ball? Or the wicket-keeper prompting the umpire to signal a wide in good humour?
Cricket at the Sabina Park on Sundays is normally a bash. It only gets better when both teams play to the galleries, like India and West Indies did by providing some thrilling, entertaining and at times hilarious moments.
By choosing to bowl, West Indies kept themselves attuned to the possibility of rain and Duckworth-Lewis.
But their opening bowling was conflicting.
If Kemar Roach stuck to a disciplined line, pitching the ball fuller, Tino Best decided it was best to dig in short, much to the inconvenience of the petite Denesh Ramdin behind the stumps.
Relentless pulling and hooking by Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan only made Best stubbornly bowl even shorter. The crowd loved it. But they loved it even more when Sharma had guided Best's bouncer over the slips for a six.
And even though for a moment, it looked like Best had got the better of Sharma, it had actually come off a free-hit. But that was entirely lost on Darren Bravo who kicked away the ball in celebration after catching it at third man.
The stump microphone caught Pollard's voice, the stand-in skipper furiously hollering at Bravo and gesticulating at him to use his brains.
Funny side up
A bemused Bravo could only stand helplessly until Darren Sammy ran up to him and collapsed laughing.
Amid all this West Indies showed even they could steal India's thunder by taking three maidens inside the first 10 overs. If Roach dismissing Dhawan with a brilliant caught
and bowled effort was cheered furiously from the party mounds, Gayle stooping low to catch Virat Kohli in the slip was greeted with a hail of conch shells and trumpets blowing away in full glory.
Maybe the noise had made calling for runs difficult for Dinesh Karthik and Sharma, which ultimately led to quite a few close shaves keeping the Indian fans on the edge.
Sharma did stick it out to make a fifty but the minute Johnson Charles caught him at long-off, Sammy celebrated by firing an imaginary rifle in the air.
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Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.