Match Report: 2nd Test: Day 5 : West Indies vs India at Kingston, July 30-Aug 3, 2016
WEST INDIES 196 (Jermaine Blackwood 62, Marlon Samuels 37, Miguel Cummins 24 not out; Ravi Ashwin 5-52, Mohammed Shami 2-23, Ishant Sharma 2-53) and 388 for six (Roston Chase 137 not out, Shane Dowrich 74, Jason Holder 64 not out, Jermaine Blackwood 63; Mohammed Shami 2-82, Amit Mishra 2-92)
INDIA 500 for nine decl. (Lokesh Rahul 158, Ajinkya Rahane 108 not out, Wriddhiman Saha 47, Cheteshwar Pujara 46, Virat Kohli 44; Roston Chase 5-121)
Ironically, when West Indies brought out their best cricket to defy India on the final day of the 2nd Test in Jamaica, less than 100 spectators were witness to it.
Over the past four days, with India dominating and rain intervening, the support for the home side had steadily decreased. What was around 500 on the opening day had reduced to, probably, single digits on the final day. Unfortunately for them, they missed out on a truly spectacular’s days play, with Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Jermaine Blackwood and Jason Holder joining hands to earn their side a credible draw.
Chase hit a well-deserved and mightily impressive hundred under immense pressure, following up on his five-wicket haul on Day 3, and became the first West Indies player since Sir Garfield Sobers in 1966 to hit a hundred and take a fifer in one Test. His knock was a free-flowing one, studded with 15 fours and one six, and we was involved in three vital stands with Blackwood, Dowrich and Holder, each one lasting almost an entire session, as West Indes overcame their deficit of 304 and held firm.
Chase started off by taking on the Indian bowlers, with him and Blackwood happy to hit over the top and put the Indians on the backfoot. The tactic worked to perfection as the home side not only damaged the bowlers’ confidence, but also kept their wicket intact. As he settled, Chase started to play more judiciously, comfortably playing out the spinners and the pacers. His legside play was particularly solid, showing he was good with using his wrists playing with or against the spin.
He let Dowrich dominate the bowlers in the second session, settling into a sheet-anchor role, and easily changing strike over. When Dowrich departed, and with the new ball in play, Chase, once again, displayed great maturity to not throw his wicket away and take his side to safety. He ended with 137 not out as West Indies opted for the draw at 388/6.
For the last eight days of cricket that was played in the series, Anil Kumble would step out with the reserve bowlers and work on the finer aspects of their game. He did this during every Lunch interval. With his side performing the way it was, his presence with the bench was perhaps more important.
But on Wednesday, he didn’t come out at Lunch. His team would’ve needed his inputs.
Chase, Blackwood and Dowrich had just combined to wallop the Indian bowlers for 167 in the first session. Amit Mishra was proving to be especially costly, but none of the other bowlers looked close to being a constant threat.
Earlier in the day, with West Indies starting the day at 48/4 and staring at another innings defeat, Chase and Blackwood forged an attacking stand. Blackwood had slammed a fine fifty in the first innings adopting the same attacking approach, and the encore worked for the home side. He slammed two fours and a six in a single over, while Chase hit Mishra for two fours forcing Virat Kohli to bring in Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav into the attack.
From 48/4, West Indies had moved to 100/4 in less than 9 overs.
With no hint of a wicket, Kohli turned to his main man, R Ashiwn. Blackwood took him on immediately, slamming the off-spinner for two sixes in quick succession, and bringing up his second fifty of the match.
The pair added 93 runs in quick time, off just 103 balls , before Ashwin delivered. The off-spinner had switched to around the wicket after Blackwood had taken him for a six, and the move worked for India. Blackwood’s forward defense popped up ever so slightly, and Cheteshwar Pujara scooped down low to pluck a superb catch. Blackwood was out for 63 off 54 balls, a knock that included nine fours and two sixes.
Chase and Dowrich combined to add fifty runs for the sixth wicket as West Indies crossed the 200-run mark and also reduced the lead to double figures.
Post Lunch, West Indies’ fightback continued with both batsmen playing freely.
Dowrich went on to bring up his third Test fifty soon as deficit came down to 50. Amit Mishra and R Ashwin, bowling with a change of ends, tied up the batsman a bit, and almost immediately India had their chance to get a breakthrough. Mishra induced an edge off Dowrich, but the edge flew wide of slip, and Ajinkya Rahane, diving to his right, could not complete the catch.
India’s breakthrough finally came in the 71st over, but it came courtesy an umpiring blunder. Dowrich had inside-edged Mishra onto his pads, but umpire Ian Gould missed the edged and ruled the wicketkeeper-batsman LBW for 74.
Dowrich had played beautifully until then, hitting six fours and one six off Ashwin, and adding 144 runs alongside Chase to bring his side closer to safety. He looked on course to get his maiden hundred before ill-luck intervened.
Chase got to his hundred soon after, and with Holder for company helped the West Indies erase the deficit.
India took the new ball as soon as it was made available, but West Indies stood firm to take Tea at 320/6.
India found another immovable object in Jason Holder in the final session, as the West Indies captain hit a fine fifty and along with Chase took their side to a morale-boosting draw.