Mumbai, Nov 26: A thrilling match ended in a draw as West Indies held their nerves to avoid a series whitewash on the Day 5 of the third Test in Mumbai.
[Scorecard: 3rd Test; India Vs WI, Mumbai]
The crowd cheered every run scored which put Windies fielders under pressure. Had the Windies capitalized on the many run-out opportunities the game could have easily been won by them. Match ended on high note which went on till the final ball of the day as India needed two runs of the last ball to seal victory. Chasing a 243-run victory target, India ended up with 242/9 with R Ashwin getting run out on the last ball of the match.
Virat Kohli's (63) brilliant innings under pressure got India closer to the target. With decent partnership's between Kohli-Laxman, and Kohli-Ashwin, India looked comfortable to win but VVS Laxman (31) and MS Dhoni (13) fell at a crucial time and Kohli got out while trying to wide ball outside off-stump hitting the top edge for a catch at short third man. Kohli's wicket had got the Windies a ray of hope to win as tailender's were on the crease.
Windies spin attack claimed three important wickets of Virender Sehwag (60), Sachin Tendulkar (3) and Rahul Dravid (33). Sehwag tried a reverse flick which it the edge of the bat for a simple catch to Sammy at short fine leg. Tendulkar and Dravid got out caught failing to read the bounce and keep the ball low.
Earlier Fidel Edwards striked after lunch forcing Gautam Gambhir (12) to drive a wide ball outside off-stump for a simple catch to skipper Darren Sammy at point.
Indian spin attack ripped through Windies batsmen as Pragyan Ojha claimed six wickets while R Ashwin took four wickets each earlier this morning before lunch. Windies managed a total of 134 runs with a lead of 242 runs. India will look for a whitewash chasing a target of 243.
Pragyan Ojha kept India in the hunt by claiming six wickets on Day 5 of the last Test. Ojha struck early when he had Kraigg Brathwaite (35) was caught by Sachin Tendulkar. Darren Bravo (48) and Marlon Samuels (0) fell shortly after that. Bravo misjudged the length from Ojha and chips it back to Ojha for a simple catch. Samuels tried to go for the big shot not sensing the quicker full delivery from Ojha, misses it completely and easily stumped by MS Dhoni.
R Ashwin who scored a century on Day 4 took four wickets of Kieron Powell (11), Darren Sammy (10), Rave Rampaul (0) and Devendra Bishoo(0).
Off-spinner Ashwin became the first cricketer to register a double, a five wicket haul and a century in an innings since 44 years, as he scored his maiden test century helping India post 482 in their first innings.
Sachin Tendulkar missed out on the historic ton by six runs, but the fans at least had the consolation of watching R Ashwin score a century avoiding a humiliating follow-on, but with the help of Virat Kohli he managed to bring down Windies lead to 108 runs.
R Ashwin came in to bat under pressure alongside Virat Kohli facing a possible follow-on. Kohli and Ashwin managed a decent partnership of 97 runs for the seventh wicket.
Windies Bowlers began the day with intent with Fidel Edwards striking his first delivery of the day, getting VVS Laxman to edge to gully.
Virat Kohli finally made it to the squad and proved his importance helping India reach to total 391 run mark to avoid follow-on. Kohli scored a brilliant 52 with wristy flicks and five fours to at least book a place for Australia tour.
R Ashwin's innings of 103 was more controlled and wasn't a tailender's swing, he used to be a opener at the U-19 level.
Windies led by 108 runs going into the second innings to face the Indian spin attack. Windies can't afford to declare too early on day 5 with a target given the might of the Indian batting line-up.
Ojha picked up two early wickets of Adrain Barath and Kirk Edwards within 11 overs, but Bravo and Brathwaithe stuck to their crease playing defensively as you would expect from a man who has two centuries in his previous two innings.
Windies look to set a huge target with few sessions remaining on the last day, the draw remains the likeliest result.