After India reached 456/6 on third day, rain began to interrupt cricket and normal life. Ajinkya Rahane was looking solid and he took India to 500/9 with his seventh test hundred. With more than two days remaining in the Kingston test, a first innings lead of 304 pointed to another test victory for India. But the tropical storm Earl affected the entire Caribbean region, bringing high winds and heavy rains in its wake. Amid large-scale devastation caused by Earl, the Jamaican nation was actually spared as the storm side-stepped and moved elsewhere. But heavy rains on third and fourth days of the second test match, curtailed play. However, rain was not the only reason for the second test ending in a draw. After India claimed four-second innings wicket early, West Indian lower middle-order frustrated Indian bowlers. Led by the brave-heart Roston Chase, they ensured that the first-innings lead was wiped off. Later, they took their team to safety by playing until the last ball of the match. After a meager 48/4, West Indies lost only two more wickets but added 340 runs to the total with Roston Chase remaining not out for 137. The 24-year old Jamaican stayed at the crease for nearly 6 hours and had the company of Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich and skipper Jason Holder. Incidentally, all these West Indian saviors are 24 years of age. The test ended in a draw and Chase truly deserved the player-of-the-match award in only the second test match of his career.
India began the third day with Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in command. They played the entire morning session but Wriddhiman Saha lost his wicket at the stroke of lunch. Rahane looked in good touch and reached his 7th test hundred off 231 balls. Five of Rahane’s centuries have come on overseas tours. Towards the end of India’s innings, Rahane derived adequate support from Amit Mishra and Umesh Yadav and declaration came after 170 overs. West Indies had to begin their second innings 304 runs in arrears but they couldn’t start on third day because heavy winds and rain prevented any further action at Sabina Park.
Conditions were far from good for cricket even on the fourth day morning. But in 16 overs’ play that became possible, India obtained further stranglehold in the test by polishing off the top order batsmen. Rajendra Chandrika was first to depart in the third over, when an Ishant Sharma express crashed on his stumps after touching the batsman’s elbow. West Indies survived the next ten overs but in the 13th, Amit Mishra benefitted not from any venom in his delivery but by an error from Brathewaite. The batsman heaved on a short-pitched leg-side delivery and ended up with a top edge to midwicket. Lokesh Rahul had to run back some distance before completing a good catch over his shoulder. Brathwaite’s wicket brought Marlon Samuels out on the crease. He faced 4 balls from Mohammed Shami’s next over before Shami pegged back his off-stump with a perfectly pitched 5th delivery. 41/3 became 48/4 in the 16th over, when Shami sent back Darren Bravo with a short pitched ball that came on the batsman’s throat. Bravo folded himself with gloves on his upper body but couldn’t prevent the edge going to the third slip, where Rahul took his second catch of the iinings. This was also the last ball before lunch. After lunch, the heavens opened up and the entire day’s play was washed out.
Going into the final day, West Indies still required 256 runs to avoid the ignominy of back-to-back innings defeat. As it transpired, they did exceedingly well and denied India any further pleasure in the second test. The overnight not out batsman Jermaine Blackwood was joined by Roston Chase and the two of them added exactly 100 runs, before the cavalier innings from Blackwood came to end. Blackwood scored an ODI-like 63 off 54 balls by clouting 9 fours and 2 sixes. But Chase was defending well even as Dowrich came out for company. The Chase-Dowrich partnership of 144 was the cornerstone of the West Indian resistance but at 285/6, they still needed to stay on. Chase, who made his test debut at Antigua, had already completed his century off 175 balls. Now he had his skipper Jason Holder for the company. They carried on and on even as Virat Kohli ran out of bowling ideas. It soon became clear that India couldn’t win the match and Chase was the reason. It was the same Roston Chase, who had taken 5 wickets in India’s first innings and therefore, the man fully deserved the player-of-the-match award.
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