KINGSTON: Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh struck flamboyant half-centuries, yet India endured a rocky start to the first Test against West Indies on Monday.
Raina hit the top score of 82, and Harbhajan supported with 70, as the Indians, electing to bat, were dismissed for 246 in their first innings about 45 minutes after tea on an action-packed first day at Sabina Park.
Ishant Sharma then set West Indies back with the scalp of Lendl Simmons for three, as the home team reached 34 for one at stumps.
Sharma had Simmons caught at forward short leg off the inside edge, as West Indies faced a difficult 1½ hours before the close.
Raina pummelled 15 fours from 115 balls in just over 2¾ hours, and Harbhajan smote 10 fours and one six from 74 balls in just over two hours.
They propped up the innings with a seventh wicket stand of 146, after the visitors ran into trouble on 85 for six in the first 15 minutes after lunch.
The World No. 1 however, then lost their last four wickets cheaply.
Fidel Edwards, making a return to the international game after a two-year injury layoff, was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, finishing with four for 56 from 16 overs, justifying his selection ahead of Kemar Roach.
Ravi Rampaul ended with three for 59 from 18.2 overs, and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo captured three for 75 from 11 overs.
Before lunch, India failed to justify their decision to bat, limping to 69 for four.
The Indians were rocked early on, when Murali Vijay was caught at backward point for eight slicing a drive off Rampaul, who also bowled debutant left-hander Abhinav Mukund off the inside edge for 11.
VVS Laxman joined Rahul Dravid, and stemmed the fall of wickets for close to an hour, but he was caught at slip for 12 off the first delivery from Bishoo, edging a loose drive, and leaving the visitors on 64 for three.
The rot continued when Virat Kohli, another Test newcomer, was caught behind for four, playing defensively forward to Edwards in the final over before the interval.