Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018

Windies crushed again in series sweep

Windies crushed again in series sweep
15 Oct
2018

West Indies were bundled out for their joint-lowest ever total on Indian soil as they slumped to a 10-wicket defeat inside three days here Sunday, to suffer a 2-0 whitewash and extend their agonising 16-year wait for a Test victory against the hosts.

The Caribbean side dared to dream when they bowled India out for 367 to limit the first innings deficit to just 56 runs but their batsmen then produced wretched display to crumble for a wretched 127 in their second innings – their lowest score in India in 31 years.

They were undone by Man-of-the-Match speedster Umesh Yadav who bowled superbly to claim four for 45 and end with career-best match figures of 133.

He received excellent support from left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja who picked up three for 12 and off-spinner Ravi Ashwin who finished with two for 24.

Sunil Ambris top-scored with 38 and Shai Hope got 28 but West Indies never recovered from six for two in the fourth over after losing both openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell without scoring.

Left with a paltry target of 72, India romped to victory late in the day with openers Prithvi Shaw and Lokesh Rahul both stroking 33 not out, to keep West Indies without a Test win on Indian soil in 24 years.

The Windies have now lost 12 of their last 21 Tests to India and are still without a series win in India since 1983.

What began as a day filled with possibilities for the tourists ended in calamity at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, as West Indies failed to capitalise on a clinical bowling effort which saw them claim the last six Indian wickets for just 59 runs.

Captain Jason Holder spearheaded the attack, bowling superbly to finish with five for 56 – his fifth career five-wicket haul and third in four innings.

Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel claimed three for 107 while left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, in his first Test in nearly three years, ended with two for 84.

Opting for the new ball at the start, Holder and Gabriel struck early, combining to remove three Indian wickets for 14 runs in the space of 33 balls.

Holder knocked over Ajinkya Rahane for 80 in the third over after the right-hander had added just five to his overnight score, caught by Hope at gully off one that bounced sharply.

Two balls later, Holder brought one back to trap Jadeja lbw without scoring and Gabriel accounted for Rishabh Pant three overs later for 92, caught at point by Shimron Hetmyer after adding seven to his overnight score.

Ashwin then frustrated the Windies with 35 in nearly two hours at the crease, before he was last out – bowled by Gabriel just before lunch.

Starting their second innings after the interval, West Indies’ capitulation began from the second ball, when Brathwaite lazily clipped a leg-side catch to wicketkeeper Pant off Umesh, without a run on the board.

Powell followed in the fourth over, edging a defensive prod at Ashwin to be caught low down at slip by Rahane, with Windies on six for two.

Hope and Hetmyer then featured in the best stand of the innings as they added 39 for the third wicket to see their side virtually through the next hour.

While Hope faced 42 balls and struck four four fours, the left-hander Hetymer stroked three boundaries in his 29-ball stay at the crease.

On the stroke of the drinks break, however, Hetmyer lost the plot, charging and swinging wildly at Kuldeep and peeling a simple catch to Cheteshwar Pujara at point.

With no addition to the score in the next over, Hope edged one from Jadeja that turned and was taken by Rahane at slip, leaving the Windies on 45 for four an hour after lunch.

Without a score of note in his comeback series, Ambris tried to make his mark, carving out four fours off 95 balls in nearly two hours at the crease.

He tried to revive the innings in a 23-run fifth wicket stand with Roston Chase but the first innings century-maker managed only six this time before he was bowled off the pads by Umesh, about 14 minutes before tea.

With two runs added at 70 for six, Shane Dowrich had his off-stump uprooted by Umesh off the inside edge for a first-ball ‘duck’, leaving the Windies tottering on 76 for six at the interval.

Ambris and Holder (19) delayed the inevitable after tea, adding 38 for the seventh wicket to keep India wicket-less for nearly 40 minutes.

But Holder feathered a catch behind off Jadeja to end the stand and the last four wickets fell for 19 runs as the end came swiftly.