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Inspired India surges to series triumph

West Indies keels over for 108 as visitor opens up 2-0 lead after commanding 237-run rout in third Test

Inspired India surges to series triumph - Cricket News
India was ruthless, clinical and got the job done with an emphatic bowling performance.
The end, when it came, was rather tame for what was a historic day in Indian cricket history. On 10 tours to the Caribbean stretching back as far as 1952-53, India had never won more than one Test per visit. The 11th time was the charm as West Indies folded for only 108, handing India a thumping 237-run win in the third Test.
 
If the series began with heightened expectations, the moment it was sealed – India now has an unassailable 2-0 lead with the final Test left to be played in Port of Spain – was anticlimactic. There was no frenzy of players rushing around trying to grab souvenir stumps, no crazed celebrations on wild whoops of euphoria. India was ruthless, clinical and got the job done with an emphatic bowling performance.
 
India began Saturday’s (August 13) final day in a strong position, and kicked on despite losing two wickets fairly early with both Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha dismissed by Miguel Cummins.
 
In the event, the runs India added were only academic, Ajinkya Rahane being unbeaten on a typically polished 71 as India declared on 217 for 7 after having begun the day on 157 for 3, leaving West Indies with a notional target of 346 from 87 overs.
 
India’s task was simple, if not straightforward -- find a way to take 10 wickets. In Kingston, after a day was lost to rain, and India’s momentum completely sucked away, an easing pitch meant the bowlers struggled even to prise out two wickets as West Indies’ batsmen applied themselves.


 
There was no such trouble here, Mohammed Shami steaming in, the force clearly with him. Getting the ball through to the ’keeper at pace, carrying through well over shoulder height, Shami bombed out Leon Johnson, Rohit taking a sharp catch at short-leg with only 4 on the board.
 
Darren Bravo played close to his body early on, surviving a thorough working over from Shami to get into a phase of solid batting, but support at the other end was virtually non-existent. Kraigg Brathwaite got a beauty from Bhuvneshwar Kumar that shaped in and straightened perfectly after pitching, nailing the batsman in front of the stumps.
 
Marlon Samuels hung on the back foot, playing with bat far away from the body, at an angle, inviting the bowler to attack the stumps. Ishant Sharma produced a beautiful inducker, nipping back neatly off the fifth-day pitch at the Darren Sammy Stadium to not so much disturb the timber, as the saying goes, but flatten it with an axe.
 
Roston Chase, the hero of the Kingston siege that West Indies survived to eke out a draw, could not produce an encore. A full, quick inswinger from Ishant left the batsman late on the shot, and once again the bat-pad gap was more than sufficient to allow the ball untrammelled passage to the stumps.
 
Jermaine Blackwood was whisked away to the pavilion before he could cause serious damage, an attempted booming drive off Ravindra Jadeja and the resultant overbalancing giving Saha enough time to whip off the bails and reduce West Indies to 68 for 5.
 
Bravo was good enough to resist for nearly three hours, but with none of his mates crossing 12, and seven not even making it to double figures, the end was never far away. Wild slogs, tragicomic run outs, the tail pulled out all stops, crashing and burning, and only managing to get the team total past the century mark thanks to 11, the third highest score of the innings, from Shannon Gabriel, the No. 11. Bundled out for 108, West Indies had handed India the win it so desperately wanted, and with it the series.

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