For a man who normally shows little emotion on the field, it was a turbulent period for Shivnarine Chanderpaul, coming into the third and final Test against India at the Windsor Park.
The 36-year-old Guyanese struck an invaluable 23rd Test century on the final day to pull the West Indies towards safety, displaying his famous resolve to grind out the tiring India attack. Chanderpaul held firm for around seven hours, revealing how fit and focused he was after scoring 105 not out to make his record 133rd match special.
India's hopes of wrapping up the West Indies' second innings were dashed as their bowlers were tired after toiling on the fourth day on a slow pitch. Ishant Sharma, who has spearhead the attack in this series, looked drained as the visitors, 1-0 up in the series, were left waiting at lunch on the fifth day.
The West Indies were 294 for eight at lunch, a handy lead of 151 runs. Fidel Edwards braved a knock under his right ear off a Munaf Patel bouncer to give Chanderpaul company. He was unbeaten on 16.
Chanderpaul made the most after he was dropped on 25 by Rahul Dravid off Harbhajan Singh, as he led the fightback with Kirk Edwards, who struck a superb 110 on debut on Saturday. The duo raised 161 runs for the fourth wicket to finally infuse self-belief in the batting unit.
England umpire Richard Kettleborough took his mistakes in the match to three when he shockingly gave Darren Sammy out, caught bat-pad, off Harbhajan when the ball had popped off the front pad. He had also given Edwards out off a helmet deflection in the first innings and adjudged Marlon Samuels leg before against Harbhajan on Saturday when the ball was missing off-stump.
Ravi Rampaul (1) was run out Ishant scored a direct hit from point. However, TV replays were needed to confirm that MS Dhoni had not dislodged the bails with his glove before the ball struck. At that stage, India looked set to chase a small total. But Chanderpaul once again made sure it would not be easy. Out of the five full series he has played against India, he has not scored a century only once, when he was stranded at 97 in the St Kitts Test in 2006, a series India won 1-0.
Chanderpaul came into this series under a cloud, after slamming the West Indies Cricket Board in a radio interview.