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Weather forces draw in India-West Indies second Test

cricket Updated: Jul 03, 2011 12:03 IST
Reuters
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The second Test between West Indies and India ended in a draw on Saturday after the fickle weather that had interrupted the match for days finally halted play.

The match was evenly poised and heading towards an unexpected and thrilling finish when play was abandoned in the last session on the fifth and final day because of bad light after rain had delayed the match at a critical time and soaked the outfield.

Set 281 to win after India made a bold declaration at the start of the day, West Indies were 202 for seven when the teams shook hands and stumps were drawn, 79 runs from what would have been a remarkable victory but also just three wickets from losing the series.

"I'm disappointed to some extent, the last session was a well-placed game, it was evenly poised," said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"My plan was ruined because of the rain, we got a couple of wickets that were needed but bad light spoiled the party."

India, 1-0 up in the three-match series after winning the opening test in Jamaica, declared their second innings closed at 269-6 more than an hour before lunch, setting West Indies a formidable, but not impossible, target in two-and-a-half sessions.

The tourists looked the most likely winners when they picked up three early wickets, forcing West Indies to revert to survival mode, before Darren Bravo and Carlton Baugh took matters into their own hands and threatened to change the momentum of the match.

"A draw, we will take that. As long as we didn't lose today, I'm quite happy," said West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

"We had a plan, even down to the last 15 overs we were on course but we lost too many wickets. We have to go all out to win and level the test series."

Bravo made 73 in more than four-and-a-half hours at the crease before he fell when the light was fading fast, leaving Baugh unbeaten on 46.

Ishant Sharma, India's impressive fast bowler who was named man of the match, took 4-53 to finish with 10 wickets.

"I can't forget this kind of bowling, I've never done this kind of bowling ever in my career," Sharma said.

"The wicket had uneven bounce in the first innings so you just had to put it in the right areas."

FIVE WICKETS
India had resumed on 229-3 and added just 40 runs for the loss of three wickets when the normally conservative skipper called his players in on a lively Kensington Oval pitch still offering plenty of pace and bounce.

For the second time in the match Vangipurappu Laxman had fallen short of a century, departing for 87 after making 85 in the first innings.

Laxman had batted patiently to get within reach of a hundred when he got a thick edge to a short ball from Fidel Edwards outside off stump and deflected it to Sammy at second slip.

Edwards captured all three Indian wickets in the day to finish with 5-76, his ninth five-wicket haul in tests.

Virat Kohli was also caught by Sammy at second slip for 27 while Dhoni spooned a catch to Chanderpaul at mid-off for five.

Dhoni's declaration was vindicated when India captured three quick wickets. Lendl Simmons departed in the fourth over after making a quickfire 14 off 12 balls, featuring three boundaries, when he edged Sharma to Rahul Dravid in the slips cordon.

Then Ramnaresh Sarwan, who has scored just 29 runs in the series, made another early exit for eight when he fended a short-pitched delivery from Praveen Kumar to Suresh Raina at third slip.

Adrian Barath struck three fours and a six before he was also caught by Raina at third slip, leaving West Indies reeling at 55-3.

Chanderpaul joined Bravo at the crease and helped to steady the innings with a painstakingly slow 12 off 87 balls before he was given out leg before wicket to spinner Harbhajan Singh although replays indicated the ball was clearly missing the stumps.

Marlon Samuels, who top scored in the first innings with an unbeaten 78, fell lbw to Sharma for nine, leaving West Indies in deep trouble at 132-5, when Bravo and Baugh came together.

With Bravo holding up an end, allowing Baugh to go after the bowlers, the pair added 69 for the sixth wicket, forcing India to spread the fielders and start saving runs when a shower forced play to be stopped.

There was another delay when the groundsmen were called to repair an area that was still wet and although West Indies lost Bravo, then Sammy for a duck, the light ultimately ruined any chance of a result.

The third and final test starts in Dominica next week.

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