Defiant Chase secures West Indies a draw in the 2nd Test: At the start of day 4 not many people would”ve foreseen West Indies saving the test, especially after losing 4 wickets in 16 overs. It was quite unfortunate for India that rain played a spoilsport. Still India would have fancied their chance of winning on day 5.
Day 5 was a different day altogether, very different than previous four in this test and Antigua. Blackwood and Chase came out all guns blazing. They took the attack to the opposition, with the former bringing up the second fastest fifty by West Indian vs India (the fastest record owned by none other than Sir Viv). Blackwood was fearless in his approach not allowing the spinners to settle down. Hitting the ball straight back over bowler”s head for six was a feature of his innings. He soon fell on 63 after a brilliant catch from pujara at short leg, the only wicket India managed to pick before lunch despite the first session being extended one.
After lunch it was all about Chase. The 24-year old Bajan playing only his second test batted with immense determination. An innings in which he superbly blended caution with aggression. Indians were running out of time. Restlessness was clearly seen on Virat”s face. The bowlers were not bowling too badly. It was just not happening. Maybe because of old ball spinners were unable to get the same purchase they got with the new one. Chase was well supported by Dowrich, who scored a gutsy 74 before getting a controversial decision from umpire. The duo shared 144-run stand for 6th wicket. In walked Jason Holder, the West Indies skipper after fall of Dowrich. Chase brought up his 100 and became the first since Sir Gary Sobbers to score a hundred and take a fifer in the same match. Sir Gary had achieved the same feat against same opposition at the same venue! Whatta coincidence!
West Indies wiped off the deficit and were going strong. Holder also brought up his 50, 4th of his test career. At around 4:30 pm local time with an hour or so left, Indian skipper shaked hands with Holder and said that”s it. The test ended in a draw. West Indies “Chased” their dream of saving the test. Man of the match award deservedly went to Roston Chase.
Looking at the current situation of West Indies team, this innings from Chase can inject a lot of confidence going forward in future! We might see a completely different West Indies team at Saint Lucia. Hope its a cracker of a contest at the newly named Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium!
– by Atharva Apte