After a day of successfully executing it’s desired plans, the Indian team now looked upon the prospect of winning the 3rd test and not only winning the test but along with it; also the series as a win would give them a 2-0 lead with 1 match to play.
After losing a full day to the rains, the Indian team made the most of day 4 by winding up West Indies in their first innings and still sparing 30 overs in the day to play and extend their lead from 127 to somewhere close to 300+.
Day 5th began with India relying on Rahane and Rohit Sharma to continue the flurry of runs and frustrate the West Indian bowlers. Even though Sharma could only add 6 runs to his overnight score, Rahane showed just why he’s a very special talent. Usually one would associate Rahane to be a strike holder at one end, make runs but not at a rapid pace but seeing the situation and context of the match, Rahane became aggressive and was striking at 70 runs per 100 balls.
Apart from Rahane, Saha and Jadeja managed 14 and 16 respectively but gave up their wickets for the team’s cause in the bid to score through big shots. Cummins made the most of the situation and grabbed some quick wickets – 6 in total tally. Rahane went unbeaten to the pavilion at 78, with India declaring 217/7, giving West Indies 346 to chase in 87 overs.
The fans on both the sides hoped for a nail-biting finish to a test match that had otherwise frustrated fans and players from both sides; a complete day’s washout of cricket usually means a dull draw but because the Indian team was able to score quick runs and take wickets in quick sessions – one result; that of India winning was still likely but it needed a very poor batting show from the West Indies.
The West Indian openers in Brathwaite and Johnson made their way into the middle, knowing very well that their partnership at the top order can well make and break the match; the opening slot has otherwise failed miserably in the last 5 innings with just one 50+ run partnership, which came in the 1st innings of this test; first time that Brathwaite and Johnson opened together.
Sadly for the West Indian fans, the pair failed to click twice as West Indies lost their first wicket for 4, with Johnson departing for a duck. Without the score moving forward, another wicket fell when the score was 4, this time Brathwaite; following his opening partner’s steps to the pavilion.
These two went and West Indies never really recovered. An amicable performance followed next that could only frustrate and disappoint the fans of the Caribbean cricket further after the kind of fightback the team showed in the last test, going down without putting up a fight wasn’t foreseen.
Samuels went for 12 and Chase for 10, apart from these two the whole middle order saw a collapse of epic proportions with only the last man in Gabriel being the batsman to get into the double figures. From 64-3, the West Indies team got all out for 108. It is the courtesy of Darren Bravo that the West Indian team managed to get some respectability in their score and even though 108 is by no means an acceptable score at test cricket level, it was Bravo’s 59 that got them there.
India completed a tremendous victory in just 4 days, owing to the joint success of it’s batsmen and bowlers – giving them a lead of 2-0 in the series and ensuring that they now have won the series, with only 1 test to play.
Fact : No Indian team touring the West Indies in the past has won 2 test matches in a series.
Man of the match : Ravichandran Ashwin