Dramatic draw at Wankhede

Ashwin named man of the match, series

For only the second time in 2,019 Test matches, a Test match was drawn with two teams level on scores after India finished on 242 for nine, chasing 243 for victory, in the final Test against the West Indies. In December 1996, England was set 205 for victory in 37 overs by Zimbabwe, and ended up on 204 for six.

This time, Ravichandran Ashwin, man of the match in the third Test and man of the series on debut, was run out attempting the winning run. Among the fans, there was a sense of the team having let slip an opportunity to complete its first 3-0 sweep since the 1994 blanking of Sri Lanka, but to dwell on that disappointment would be to gloss over a tremendous day’s Test cricket.

A match that appeared headed for a dreary finish sprang to life in the morning session, Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha triggering an incredible collapse. The West Indies looked to have reached safe shores on Friday evening by reaching 81 for two in their second innings, an overall lead of 189, but the Indian spin twins spun a web of guile and craft to snare the last eight wickets for 53 runs, leaving India needing 243 in a minimum of 64 overs. India’s chase was never assured after the free-flowing but chancy Virender Sehwag was dismissed for 60. The hosts lost wickets at inopportune moments, fortunes ebbing and flowing in the most gripping passage of play over the entire five days in recent years. Virat Kohli’s tremendous composure and Ashwin’s unflappable demeanous seemed to have swung things India’s way with 19 needed off the last five overs, with four wickets standing, but there was a final twist in the tale — two required off the final delivery. Perhaps, Ashwin could have shown more intent going for the impossible second run. Perhaps, he could have chanced his arm earlier. Then again, perhaps, a draw of this nature was the most fitting end.

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