India surprisingly opted not to press for a win with 86 needed from 15 overs with seven wickets in hand as the third and final cricket Test against the West Indies ended in a draw, giving the visitors a 1-0 series victory here today.
Needing 180 for a win from 47 overs, India were 94 for three after 32 overs but they decided to end their run chase just before the start of 15 mandatory overs on a Windsor Park pitch which was not too bad for a fifth day track.
Rahul Dravid was batting on 34 while V V S Laxman was giving him company on three when India decided to close shop and their offer of a draw was readily accepted by the hosts.
Initially, India appeared serious on the chase when Murali Vijay (45) and Dravid put on 73 runs for the second wicket and West Indies began resorting to negative tactics by asking leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to bowl down the legside. India clinched the three-match series 1-0 with the lone victory coming at Kingston, Jamaica in the opening Test.
The second Test at Bridgetown, Barbados had also ended in a draw. India now have recorded their third series victory in the Caribbeans, having achieved the feat in 1971 and 2006 under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar and Dravid respectively. Mahendra Singh Dhoni' side, however, missed out on a chance to beat West Indies 2-0 at the Caribbeans for the first time. The 1971 and 2006 series victories by India were also by 1-0 margins.
In a reflection of their domination over the West Indies in recent times, India's series win was also the third in a row after the 2-0 victory in the three-match Test series at home in 2002-03 and 1-0 win in the Caribbeans in 2006.
West Indies: 204 (C. Baugh 60, D.M. Bravo 50; Ishant Sharma 5-77) and 322 (S. Chanderpaul 116 not out, K. Edwards 110, F. Edwards 30; Harbhajan Singh 4-75) v India 347 (M.S. Dhoni 74, A. Mukund 62, V. Laxman 56, S. Raina 50; F. Edwards 5-103) and 94-3 (M. Vijay 45)
(With inputs from AFP)