India drub Windies; sweep series 2-0

India drub Windies; sweep series 2-0

Umesh Yadav celebrates with team-mates the dismissal of West Indian cricketer Shane Dowrich during the third day's play of the second Test cricket match between India and West Indies at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. PTI

A strong prediction of a three-day finish had preceded the second Test here. The West Indies’ capitulation in the first game at Rajkot fuelled such a calculation. The visitors fought hard in phases but failed to overturn that prediction as India romped to a ten-wicket win to wrap up the series 2-0.

It seemed like the West Indies had stepped on to Rajiv Gandhi International stadium turf with a renewed energy. India resumed from 308/4, with two set batsmen in Ajinkya Rahane (80, 183b, 7x4) and Rishabh Pant (92, 134b, 11x4, 2x6) nearing their centuries. But the hosts' quest of building up a huge lead went up in smoke as Jason Holder (5/56) and Shannon Gabriel (3/107) breathed fire to rattle the Indians.

That India, who folded for 367, managed to gain a 56-run first innings lead was due to R Ashwin’s resistance. The off-spinner, always handy with the bat, made a gutsy 35.

For the first session in the series, the West Indies had called the shots. But when Holder’s men began their second essay, normalcy was restored. A familiar batting collapse saw them fold for a mere 127 that gave India an easy target of 72.

India strolled to that target in 16.1 overs. Prithvi Shaw’s dream start to international cricket earned him a man-of-the-series award, while Umesh Yadav, deservingly, was the man-of-the-match. 

Umesh, who claimed a six-wicket haul in the first innings, was back again hunting for wickets in the West Indian second innings. The Vidarbha pacer bagged four for 45, completing a match haul of 10 for 133. While Umesh troubled their lower-order, the Indian spinners -- Jadeja (3/12) and R Ashwin (2/24) – attacked and got decent turn off the surface to break the backbone of the visitors.

The West Indies would have been proud of the way they started proceedings. Holder and Gabriel bowled with a plan. The duo attacked with the new ball and first to fall was Rahane. The right-hander was surprised by a ball that kicked up and edged it to gully off Holder. 

Pant cut one in the air off Gabriel and Shimron Hetmyer took a brilliant catch at cover. Holder then knocked Kuldeep’s off stump to complete a five-wicket haul.

The visitors' start to the second innings was disastrous. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite was out caught down the leg side superbly by Pant in the second ball of the innings. Umesh was lucky to get a wicket of an ordinary ball. But he produced a double-wicket over at the stroke of tea to show the kind of touch he is in. Roston Chase (6) was castled by an inswinger. Shane Dowrich’s dismissal was almost an action replay of Chase’s wicket.

The spinners were on target to hasten West Indies' end. Ashwin accounted for Keiran Powell. The southpaw wasn’t happy with the umpire’s decision as Rahane took a very low catch at first slip. It was hard to say if Rahane had collected it cleanly.

The talented Shai Hope, who had flattered to deceive, was showing signs of a meaty knock. He drove with confidence and read the spinners well till a sharp turn from a Jadeja delivery saw him edge to first slip. Holder looked in control but he was bereft of support and once Jadeja dismissed the West Indies captain, it was all over for the tourists.

Brief scores: West Indies: 311 all out & 127 all out in 46.1 overs (Shai Hope 28, Ambris 38; Umesh 4-45, Ashwin 2-24, Jadeja 3-12) lt to India: 367 all out (Rishabh Pant 92, Ajinkya Rahane 80, Prithvi Shaw 70; Jason Holder 5/56) & 75 for no loss in 16.1 overs (Rahul 33 n.o., Shaw 33 n.o.).