Brilliant WI fightback - Chase's maiden ton helps rescue admirable draw for home team
In a battling display, the West Indies fought back gallantly to eke out a respectable draw against India in the second Royal Stag Test at Sabina Park yesterday.
Facing a huge second innings deficit of 304 runs, after resuming on 48 for four, the West Indies scored 340 runs for the loss of two wickets on the final day to close on 388 for six. This was for a lead of 84 runs.
At that period, it appeared that neither team would likely score win and Indian captain, Virat Kohli, asked the umpires to call time at 4 30 p.m. This was 30 minutes before the scheduled close.
Leading the West Indies rally was middle-order batsman, Roston Chase, who in showing grit, determination and concentration, ended undefeated on 137 for what was his maiden Test hundred in only his second Test.
The 24-year-old Barbadian, bowling off-spin, claimed five for 121 during the Indians’ first and only innings of 500 for nine and was named Man of the Match
He was well-supported by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, all-rounder and captain, Jason Holder and Jermaine Blackwood.
Dowrich, playing his fourth Test, netted his highest score of 74, Holder closed unbeaten on 64, while Blackwood, in his trademark attacking style, made 63.
The West Indies had posted 196 in their first innings.
‘’We asked the guys to show fight and got a really good partnership between Blackwood and Roston, and after that Dowrich came in and showed the character we asked for,’’ Holder said.
Ball by ball
‘’It was about taking it ball by ball as we had to show a lot of patience. The last Test we didn't do that and leaked boundaries.’’
On a day, which featured no rain interruptions, unlike the previous three days, it was widely expected that the West Indies batting would falter as they did in their previous three innings of the series, which saw them fail to get past 250.
However, Chase, who prior to the match had two first-class hundreds and 11 fifties to his name, had other ideas.
He anchored three important partnerships, the first with Blackwood, with whom he started the day.
Blackwood, who top-scored with a shot-filled 62 in the first innings, and resumed on three not out, continued where he left off and was the dominant force in the partnership, which yielded 93 runs.
Blackwood, however, departed when he attempted a defensive shot to a delivery from off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, but only succeeded in propping a catch to pad bat. He slammed two sixes and nine fours during his innings.
Dowrich was to then join Chase and in a stand worth 144, they manoeuvred the India bowling to all parts of the ground by showing application to good deliveries and taking full advantage of bad balls.
The alliance, however, was to come to an end via a mistake from umpire Ian Gould, who gave Dowrich out leg before wicket off the bowling of leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
However, television replays showed the ball took an inside edge before hitting his pad. But there was no opportunity for a reprieve due to India’s stance of no Decision Review System outside of ICC tournaments.
Dowrich, also 24 years, hit a six over long-on and six fours during his knock.
The other partnership that took the sails out of India’s wings, was between Holder and Chase, who shared an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 103 runs.
‘’It was a testing day, but that’s what Test cricket is all about,’’ bemoaned India’s captain, Virat Kohli.
‘’It’s just a pity that we lost most of yesterday (Tuesday). But that's no excuse. Credit to the way West Indies played. When you lose a Test and fall behind in the second, it takes something special to save the match.’’
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 196
INDIA 1st Innings 500-6 decl.
WEST INDIES 2nd innings
(overnight 48 for four)
K Brathwaite c Rahul b Mishra 23
R Chandrika b Sharma 1
DM Bravo c Rahul b Mohammed Shami 20
M Samuels b Mohammed Shami 0
J Blackwood c Pujara b Ashwin 63
R Chase not out 137
+S Dowrich lbw b Mishra 74
*J Holder not out 64
Extras (lb2, w1, nb3) 6
TOTAL (6 wkts, 104 overs) 388
Did not bat: M Cummins, D Bishoo, S Gabriel.
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-41, 3-41, 4-48, 5-141, 6-285.
Bowling: Sharma 18-3-56-1 (nb2), Shami 19-3-82-2, Mishra 25-6-90-2 (nb1), Yadav 12-2-44-0 (w1), Ashwin 30-4-114-1.
Result: Match drawn.
Series: India lead four-match series 1-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Roston Chase.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, I Gould; TV – N Duguid.