India vs. West Indies test goes to last ball

West Indies pace bowler Ravi Rampaul (3-56) kept West Indies in the match

MUMBAI, India _ Spinners Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin engineered a dramatic West Indies collapse on Saturday to give India’s batsmen a fighting chance as the third test ended in a thrilling draw with a last-ball runout.

Chasing 243 to win in a minimum of 64 overs, India finished one run short with one wicket left at 242-9. India had to be satisifed with a 2-0 series victory after winning the opening two tests comfortably.

It was only the second ever test to end in a draw with the scores level and where one team was chasing victory _ the previous one was between England and Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in 1996.

“All sorts of things were going through my mind, going down to the end,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said. “At one point, the tied test came in mind … The way we batted (in the first innings) it would have been heartbreaking to lose the game.”

Left-arm spinner Ojha bagged 6-47 and off-spinner Ashwin took 4-34 as the West Indies was dismissed for only 134 in the morning session to lend a twist to a game that looked headed for a draw on the fourth day.

West Indies, 81-2 overnight, lost its last eight wickets for only 43 runs but India also struggled in its chase on a day that saw the fall of 17 wickets.

West Indies pace bowler Ravi Rampaul (3-56) kept West Indies in the match and India was left needing three runs off the last over from pace bowler Fidel Edwards with Ashwin and tailender Varun Aaron in the middle.

With two wickets still in hand, it came down to two off the last delivery when Ashwin hit the ball to long-on, hesitated to go for a second run, and was run out for 14.

India had an 82-run stand between Virender Sehwag (60) and Rahul Dravid (33) but the team lost three quick wickets to slip from 101-1 to 113-4 but Virat Kohli (63) kept the team on course.

Kohli, who had scored 52 in the first innings, struck three fours and a six in his 114-ball knock and was out just 19 runs from the target when trying a cut shot.

Sehwag made the most of three chances he got, smashing eight fours during his 65-ball knock. He finally fell when attempting a reverse-paddle sweep off Bishoo only to miscue it to Sammy at short fine-leg.

Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar (3) then fell in similar fashion, caught at mid-wicket off Samuels.

“Something happened in the morning and it (the pitch) started to turn,” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. “Most of us thought it will be a draw but it turned into a close game.”

Dhoni said the run chase had its risks.

“We kept losing wickets at the wrong time, it was quite easy to stay on the wicket but difficult to score runs,” Dhoni said.

Earlier, Ojha and Ashwin exploited risky batting by West Indies, who went for their shots on a pitch affording turn.

The spin pair took four wickets each on Saturday to revive a game drifting toward a draw after West Indies scored 590 in its first innings and India replied with 482.

Ojha got the first breakthrough when he had Kraigg Brathwaite caught at point by Tendulkar after the batsman had added just one run to his overnight 34.

But it was Ojha’s twin-strike soon after that triggered a West Indies collapse.

Ojha took a return catch to get rid of overnight batsman Darren Bravo for 48 as the left-hander went for a drive but failed to keep the ball down. Samuels was out four deliveries later, stumped without scoring.

Ashwin joined in by trapping left-hander Kieran Powell lbw for 11 and Carlton Baugh gave away his wicket when he went for a big drive against the spin and was bowled for 1.

Ravi Rampaul, having failed to score a run off 13 balls, tried a big heave which ended in a well-judged catch by Tendulkar.

 

The final two wickets were taken by Ashwin as Sammy edged one and was caught behind for 10, while last-man Bishoo was trapped lbw off the first ball he faced.

“We took the position for granted I think, knowing that we scored 590 in the first innings,” Sammy said. “We were relaxed and some of the shots we played were not called for and we paid the price for it.”

A five-match one-day series starts in the eastern city of Cuttack on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

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