Kumble sinks WI in 4th Test

A stunning innings of defiance from Denesh Ramdin could not deter the Indians sufficiently, as the tourists, led by Anil Kumble, romped to an historic series win over the West Indies. India had not beaten the West Indies in the Caribbean in 35 years, but behind Kumble’s 6-wicket haul, they stole a 49-run win to end a hard-fought series between the two teams.

Half-centuries from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Ramdin kept things interesting, but when Brian Lara was dismissed for 11, defeat almost always seemed inevitable. The West Indies struggled to 56-4, then 219 all out, chasing 269 for victory.

At the start of the day it was Corey Collymore who took centre stage. Bowling with typical accuracy and a penchant for seam movement, the Bajan bowler dismissed overnight batsmen Anil Kumble (10) and Rahul Dravid (68) on his way to a deserved 5-wicket haul.

Dravid’s was an exceptional innings and as his second half-century of a low-scoring affair, the difference between the two teams. He was undone by a ball that kept low, but his impact was felt, as he followed his first innings 81 to ensure that he scored 40% of the Indian runs over the course of the match.

Collymore finished with 5-48 and match figures of 7-65, joining Jerome Taylor’s match haul of 9-95 as the outstanding West Indian bowling performance. India were bowled out for 171, and it meant that the West Indies would chase 269 for victory with more than two and a half days remaining in the game.

The task seemed clear cut, but given the nature of the pitch, it proved anything but. Sreesanth removed Chris Gayle in the first over of the West Indies second innings, and the big opener registered his second duck of the match. It was a dreadful start for the West Indies, and merely prelude to things to come.

Daren Ganga (16) and Brian Lara (11) again made a promising start with a 27-run partnership, but both were separated within 2 runs of each other. Ganga was beaten by pace to lose his offstump, while it was a familiar tale of woe for Lara. The West Indies captain shuffled across his stumps and was trapped leg-before-wicket by Munaf Patel.

At 29-3, the West Indies seemed primed for another collapse, reminiscent of the first innings, when the final 7 wickets fell for 31 runs in a total of 103 all out. A small partnership formed between Guyanese batsmen Sarwan and Chanderpaul, but Kumble set about to break things up for India with his first wicket of the innings.

A straight delivery struck Chanderpaul on the pad, and after a series of appeals for various modes of dismissal, he was given out lbw for 13. Dwayne Bravo joined Sarwan and the two attempted to redeem the innings with counterattacking intentions.

The plan looked to be working successfully as Sarwan eased past 50, but perished immediately after. Bravo then fell to an ugly swipe, signifying more than simply a rush of blood. His cameo of 33 lasted 45 balls and featured 6 fours, but ended at a stage when it had seemed the West Indies could yet prosper.

Marlon Samuels fell victim to a poor umpiring decision and marched with 5 runs to his name. It meant that Ramdin was left with only tailenders for company, and 125 runs still needed by the West Indies for victory.

Taylor continued his fantastic match with 4 boundaries in a knock of 20, then gave way to Pedro Collins, who lasted 18 balls for his 3 runs. Meanwhile Ramdin was intent on hitting out with his partners falling away.

His 62 not out took 85 balls and was laced with 8 fours and a six. It was an outstanding innings in a desperate and losing cause. For the West Indies, disappointment was clearly evident, as they lost within 3 days, despite bowling India out for 200 on day one. The Indian perspective was far more cheerful, understandably of course. A stunning comeback from a dismal opening day produced a hard-fought yet just series result.

India 1st innings 200 all out
Rahul Dravid 81, Anil Kumble 45
Jerome Taylor 5-50, Corey Collymore 2-17

West Indies 1st innings 103 all out
Daren Ganga 40, Brian Lara 26
Harbhajan Singh 5-13, Sreesanth 2-34

India 2nd innings 171 all out
Rahul Dravid 68, MS Dhoni 19
orey Collymore 5-48, Jerome Taylor 4-45

West Indies 2nd innings 219 all out
Denesh Ramdin 62*, Ramnaresh Sarwan 51
Anil Kumble 6-78, Sreesanth 3-38

India won by 49 runs.

Cricket Web Man of the Match: Rahul Dravid – 81 and 68

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