The setting was similar to Jamaica. India needed to bowl out West Indies on the last day of the Test, with nearly one full day remaining. But, unlike in the previous Test, India did not let the opponents settle down. West Indies batsmen too could not come up with an encore. Resuming the day on 157 for 3, India went for quick runs, and finished at 217 for 7, Ajinkya Rahane remaining unbeaten on 78. West Indies were set 346. A win was out of reach. It remained to be seen whether they could survive two and a bit sessions. 47.3 overs was all that they lasted.
Roston Chase was the hero of the last game with a magnificent hundred while the middle and lower order provided him excellent support. But, on this occasion, Darren Bravo was the only one who put up some resistance with a half-century. 108 was all that they managed in an embarrassing collapse. The Indian bowling was a well-oiled all-round effort. Mohammed Shami finished with excellent figures of 3 for 15 while Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja both got two scalps each. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin chipped with one wicket each.
In their endeavour to survive 87 overs, West Indies were seeking a good start from their openers. But, that did not come. Leon Johnson fell for a duck, fending Mohammed Shami to short leg. Kraigg Brathwaite, who chipped in with a half-century in the first innings, was then trapped lbw by first-innings hero Bhuvneshwar, as the opener played across the line to a full delivery that was swinging in. At 4 for 2 in the fifth over, West Indies were now looking up to the middle order to rescue them, like they did on the last day at Jamaica. But, that wasn’t to be case, apart from Bravo’s resistance.
Marlon Samuels is a rhythm player, and he just wasn’t in his elements on the day. While he played a few dot balls early on, he then tried to attack where there was no need to. His unsure game caused his downfall as an inswinger from Ishant Sharma sent his off-stump cartwheeling. Roston Chase then batted sensibly in the company of Bravo, and the duo took West Indies to lunch without any further trouble. Post lunch though Ishant ended Chase’s resistance, cleaning him up with a back of a length delivery that took the off stump.
Jermaine Blackwood did not last long. He tried to hit out against Ravindra Jadeja only to end up being stumped. As Blackwood walked back, West Indies had collapsed to 68 for 5 in the 30th over. At the other end, Bravo slowly progressed to a half-century, but the wickets kept falling. Shane Dowrich was taken out by some disciplined bowling by Shami while Jason Holder was run out. Shami would also go on to end Bravo’s resistance on 59. There was slight consolation for the West Indies as they managed to reach three figures. But, India’s 237-run triumph was emphatic in every sense.
--By A Cricket Correspondent