India vs West Indies: 3rd Test Review

It all started under bright sunshine at Test cricket’s newest venue at Dominica, where the visiting Indians made their last stop on the Caribbean tour. The West Indies handed out Test debuts to Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards and they came in place of Lendl Simmons and Ramnaresh Sarwan. Shivnarine Chanderpaul became their most capped player with 133 Tests while for India the lone change came in the pace bowling department where Munaf Patel came in for Abhimanyu Mithun.

India vs West Indies: 3rd Test Review

India vs West Indies: 3rd Test Review

India won the toss and took the field and immediately had the openers in trouble. Both debutants did not trouble the scorer much as Ishant and Praveen made quick inroads. However, a flourishing 40 run unbeaten stand was stalled when the heavens opened with the West Indies at 75-3 at the end of the first day. Chanderpaul was out early on the second day and Marlon Samuels followed suit to leave the hosts tottering at 99-5. Carlton Baugh and Darren Bravo took the home side to 128-5 at lunch. Bravo brought up his second consecutive half century but then got out , Sammy and Baugh played some shots to take the score to 199-6, before the last four wickets fell for five runs as the Windies managed 204. Baugh made a handsome 68 while for India, Ishant Sharma took another 5 wicket haul. 8 runs were knocked off before the showers came and brought a premature end to the second day.

Ravi Rampaul vomited and left for the hospital on Day 3 as the hosts became one bowler short. Two early blows of Vijay and Dravid, brought VVS Laxman to the crease and he along with Mukund played steadily , adding 98 before Mukund fell for 62. The West Indian bowlers stuck to their task manfully and captain Sammy churned out over after over in a never ending spell. Kohli made 30 while Laxman, Raina and Dhoni brought up their half centuries. India ended Day 3 on 308-6, a lead of 104 runs with captain Dhoni still at the crease.

Day 4 then and the Indian innings was wrapped up pretty quickly by the fiery Fidel Edwads who picked up a five-for. His victims also included Indian skipper MS Dhoni who made his first substantial score of the series with 74. India were bowled out for 347, with a lead of 143. Praveen and Ishant once again removed the openers cheaply.  Darren Bravo fell to Harbhajan Singh and 40-3, the West Indies were on the verge of another collapse. Up stepped debutant Kirk Edwards and the old guard Shivnarine Chanderpaul and they rescued the Windies as the added 161 for the fourth wicket, erasing the deficit and going past 200. A double strike from Harbhajan, going past 400 Test wickets and a bad shot from Carlton Baugh left the hosts at 224-6, a lead of 81 and their only hope Chanderpaul batting on 73.

The final day saw a battle, as Sammy and Rampaul departed quickly, with the hosts only 113 in front. Fidel Edwards and Chanderpaul then dug in and blocked whatever the Indians threw at them. They added 65 runs in 37 overs as they ate up valuable time, in the process Chanderpaul brought up his century and when the last two wickets fell, India needed 180 runs to win in a minimum of 46 overs. More drama ensued when Mukund went first ball and at 19-1 at tea, India needed 161 from 40 overs, while the hosts required nine more wickets to pull off an unlikely win. India decided to opt for safety first and when the mandatory overs were about to begin, both captains decided to call off the game.

India received tremendous flak from the media for giving up the chase too early. MS Dhoni said he was contented with a 1-0 series win , while Sammy was surprised that the No.1 Test team did not chase it down. Ishant Sharma was Man of the Series for his 23 wickets while Chanderpaul picked up the Man of the Match Its a flight across the Atlantic now as tour of England begins for the Men in Blue.

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By: The Sports Mirror