Windies find the Grind, Hold India to a Draw: Chase is the Hero
Jason Holder and Devendra Bishoo (Image Credit: ibtimes.co.in/Reuters)
Just as the umpires called lunch on the 4th day of the match, Team India was already celebrating. Having a lead of 304 and the opposition reeling at 48 for 4 in the 2nd innings with 5 sessions still left in the game to go with the inexperienced batting order of West Indies; Team India was not really wrong to celebrate but then came the twist. A twist that was not unexpected though. There was a forecast of rain for the last 3 days of the match and it came just when it mattered. The thunderstorm came and shattered India‘s chances by a good percentage points as the rest of the day was washed out.
India and West Indies both had 6 wickets to decide the fate of the match on the 5th and the final day. Virat Kohli would have still fancied an easy win, given the West Indies batsmen’s performance in the previous 3 innings and the form of Ravi Ashwin. But if everything seems a bit too certain, it can definitely not be cricket and India found this out soon. The West Indies that turned up on the 5th day was different. They were pumped up, spirited and gave little importance to history. Youngsters Chase and Blackwood completely bamboozled the Indians with their counter attack. The Indians were stunned and could do nothing. It looked as if West Indies batsmen were setting a target and not saving the match. The Indian plans went haywire. Blackwood specially was in no mood to get bogged down. He smashed the Indian bowlers in a manner that is normally seen in T20 matches. He was finally dismissed for 63 runs off just 54 balls that included 9 boundaries and 2 maximums. The next man in was wicket keeper Dowrich and he was certainly inspired with the show that was put up before him. Chase and Dowrich went about their job as seasoned campaigners to mix caution and aggression with a brilliant display of test batting. Runs were being scored at a decent pace and good balls were blocked with confidence. The deficit and the time remaining were reducing by the minute. Chase in particular was exceptional with the bat. Finally when Dowrich walked back, he had scored 74 runs, faced 114 balls and more importantly put up a mammoth partnership of 144 runs with Rolston Chase. On the other end, Chase scored a heroic century that will be remembered for a long time to come. Skipper Jason Holder did the rest with a convincing half century. West Indies finally ended the day at 388/6 to enforce an improbable draw.
Team India had the upper hand for most of the match but the West Indies rose when it mattered. India should still be happy with their overall performance in the match. Indian bowlers led again by R Ashwin who picked yet another Five-for dismissed the West Indies for a paltry 196 in the first innings. KL Rahul playing in place of injured Murli Vijay impressed with a confident century and then Ajinkya Rahane added yet another overseas century to his name to take India to 500 for 6 to hand them a lead of 304 runs over the West Indies. The batsmen overall played well with Pujara, Kohli and Saha contributing with useful 40s.
The series comes to life yet again as West Indies have shown a lot of promise in their 2nd innings to come from behind to save the match. The West Indian batsmen will look to take the confidence into the next match. The Indians have batted and bowled well and would look to continue in the same manner but with opposition batsmen coming back into form may make their task more difficult.
After 2 test matches, India leads the 4 match series 1-0.
West Indies: 196 & 388/6
Result: Match Drawn.
Man of the match: Rolston Chase