Chase keeps Windies in race

Chase keeps Windies in race

Rosten Chase

Personally, the all-rounder would have loved to finish on a high of scoring his fourth Test ton. At 98 (228m, 174b, 7x4, 1x6), he is one shot away from reaching the special figure. However, from a larger perspective, Chase’s knock was just what the doctor had ordered for the visitors who were desperate to bounce back in the series.  

By the end of 40th over, the contest brought back memories of the action at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium a week ago. The West Indies, after electing to bat, were reeling at 113/5.  

But Chase eased the nerves of his team-mates with a composed knock. The returning skipper Jason Holder (52, 92b, 6x4) and before him Shane Dowrich (30, 63b, 4x4, 1x6) made sure Chase isn’t left in the lurch. 

For a side that struggled to forge partnerships in the first game, the West Indies had two healthy stands here. Chase combined with Dowrich for a 69-run stand. The right-hander then joined hands with holder for a 104-run alliance as the West Indies reached a decent 295/7 at stumps.

On a flat track, Chase handled the spinners with ease. The lanky right-hander executed the drives to perfection early on. Post his half-century, he marched on with the help of some lusty strokes on the back foot.  

For the hosts, it wasn’t the ideal start when their debutant pacer Shardul Thakur hobbled off the field in the fourth over. Thakur, having bowled just ten balls, was seen limping in pain. The team management confirmed that the Mumbai pacer had complained of a groin strain and his availability for the game will be known after the scan reports.

India operated with one pacer in Umesh Yadav (3/83) while in the three-pronged spin attack, it was Kuldeep Yadav (3/74) who put India in the front early on. 

India though couldn’t knock down the West Indies’ lower-order as R Ashwin (1/49) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/69) were largely ineffective.

Ashwin managed to dry up the runs but couldn’t get wickets. Jadeja either bowled too full or too short to be punished often.
Umesh wasn’t consistent and often strayed on the pads. But the Vidarbha pacer, not once but thrice got India the breakthroughs they needed. Shai Hope (36) had got his eyes in with a couple of stylish shots but he was beaten by pace from a ball that came in to be trapped in front. 

Umesh then broke the Chase-Dowrich stand when he dismissed the latter leg before wicket with an inswinger. During the dying moments of the day, Umesh banged one short and Holder, attempting to pull, edged one to Rishabh Pant.

The West Indies batsmen found it hard to read Kuldeep. Shimron Hetmyer offered his pad to a googly and was caught plumb in front. Sunil Ambris too was foxed by a googly and his miscued heave towards the leg side went straight to cover. Earlier, Kuldeep picked his first with a brilliant ball that beat the defence of Kraigg Brathwaite (14).  

While India rested Mohammed Shami, the West Indies surprisingly ignored Kemar Roach and played left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.