Kingston (Jamaica): India was all out for 212 in its first innings on the third day of the fifth and final cricket Test against West Indies here on Monday.
India fell 11 runs short of the follow on mark of 223 but West Indies did not enforce the follow-on. India failed to carry forward its batting recovery and lost quick wickets on the third morning. The 82-run fifth wicket partnership between skipper Saurav Ganguly and V V S Laxman ended about one hour into the morning session, sparking a familiar late order collapse that saw India crashing to 207 for nine by lunch. Speedster Mervyn Dillon scalped three of the six wickets to fall on Monday morning to complete a five-wicket haul - his second of the career. India started the day at its overnight score of 141 for four with Ganguly and Laxman playing very cautiously. But once Ganguly was dismissed, caught behind for 36 by Dillon, the Indian tail did not have in it to stay long enough and provide some support to Laxman who was batting with utmost patience and determination at the other end.
After batting for 116 minutes for his 36, Ganguly could not avoid snicking a Dillon delivery to wicket-keeper Ridley Jacobs when the Indian total was on 168. With 55 runs still required to go past the follow-on mark, India needed another good partnership to see them through. But that was not to be as the West Indian bowlers tested the tail-enders with short-pitched stuff and got ample rewards. Wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra, centurion in the previous Test, and off spinner Harbhajan Singh fell in identical style to the combination of Dillon and Wavell Hinds who was fielding at forward short-leg.
Both the Indian batsmen failed to fend off well- directed bouncers at their bodies and spooned the ball to give diving catch practice to Hinds. Zaheer Khan, who had shown a lot of promise with his career-best 46 in the third Test, tried to use the long handle once again but failed miserably this time. After seeing two of his miss-hits land in no-man's zone, Zaheer Khan was ultimately caught by Brian Lara when he skied a Cameron Cuffy delivery while attempting a big hit. Javagal Srinath was intimidated by the short-pitched balls before he played away from his body and gave a simple catch to Chris Gayle in the slips. Laxman, in the meanwhile, completed his fourth fifty of the series and then began shielding Nehra who was run out in an attempt to help Laxman retain the strike. Laxman remained unbeaten on 65.