Mumbai, India — The third and final Test match between West Indies and India came to a thrilling end as the Windies earned a draw in one of the most memorable finishes in history.
At the start of the final over, bowled by Fidel Edwards, all four results were possible in front a vocal crowd at the Wankhede Stadium. India needed three runs to reach the target of 243 and the West Indies needed two wickets for what would have been their first win on this tour. India managed two singles and the West Indies got a wicket via the run out route off the last ball leaving the score on 242-9.
After the match Windies skipper Darren Sammy was heartened by the side’s “fight to stay alive” but felt they missed a chance at victory. India won the three-match rubber 2-0, following victories in the opening match at the Forezeshah Kotla in Delhi and the second contest at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
“Going into the final stages of the match I had all sorts of feelings coming into my mind. At one time, the thought of a tied Test too came to my mind. I was speaking to Kirk (Edwards) at cover and he said ‘we can draw, we can win, we won’t lose’. To lose the game after scoring 590 (first innings) would have been heart breaking for us as a young side,” Sammy said.
“In the end I have to say we are happy with the result but a win would have been icing on the cake. We would have loved to win against a higher ranked team. It would have given us some points in the ICC Test match team rankings. Our goal as a team is to break into the top five in Test cricket, so a victory today would have done us the world of good.”
The West Indies led India on the first four days of the match, making 590 to which the home side replied with 482. The visitors started the final day on 81-2 — an overall lead of 189, but lost the last eight wickets before lunch, to set a victory target of 243.
Ravi Rampaul was the best bowler for West Indies in the second innings with 3-56 to end with six wickets in the match. Sammy, who could not bowl due to a hamstring strain, was also full of praise for off-spinner Marlon Samuels (2-93), leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (2-65) and speedster Fidel Edwards.
“We were hoping to set a target of about 300-plus when we came to the ground this morning. But after we lost seven or eight wickets we had to go back to the drawing board and change the plans. We knew we had a chance of winning but we had to bowl well and field well. We didn’t bat well but we kept on believing that we could get a draw or a win,” Sammy said.
“Again the bowlers did not let us down. It was a tough, hard day but they stuck to it and made sure we did not lose. As a team we are making some strides but we still need more consistency. We did some good things earlier this year against Pakistan and India at home and we beat Bangladesh in Bangladesh last month. We came here and competed against India but we didn’t capitalise on the key moments.
Sammy added: “We showed fight in Dominica when we had three bowlers. Today again, a bowler down, we really showed a lot of fight. That is a positive we could take from this series. We really kept our heads up when we were down.”