India v West Indies, 3rd Test, Mumbai, 5th day November 26, 2011

How the final over unfolded

ESPNcricinfo staff
India needed three runs off six balls to win. West Indies needed two wickets. The Test ended in a thrilling draw with the teams level on scores, only the second such instance in history

Last over of the match coming up. India need three runs. West Indies need two wickets. The field will be up. [Fidel] Edwards will be asked to bowl full and straight. [Virender] Sehwag still lounges on the massage table. Only fine leg and third man are back.

63.1 FH Edwards to Aaron, no run, 133.7 kph, short of a length, outside off, sharp pace, Aaron is beaten as he looks to dab it.

Ashwin walks up and knocks gloves with Aaron. Sammy has a chat with Edwards. A yorker coming up? Whoa. Edwards doesn't let go of the ball. He sees Ashwin backing up, but has over-run him. So can't even run him out. Perhaps it was just a warning.

63.2 FH Edwards to Aaron, no run, 145.8 kph, length ball, crisply driven, into the ground, bounces overhead for short cover. Fielded very well. Aaron must be nervous now.

63.3 FH Edwards to Aaron, no run, 141.4 kph, heave-ho, heave-ho. No touch on the bat. And Baugh is sensational behind the stumps. Length ball. Aaron swings. The ball swings. Misses the leg stump. Bounces short of Baugh. But he nonchalantly sticks the left hand out. And is ready to throw should they run a bye.

63.4 FH Edwards to Aaron, 1 run, 146.3 kph, misfield by Samuels. Length ball again, bounces short of mid-off. Samuels fumbles. Aaron, who hesitated for the single, was a goner of he had collected and thrown.

Right what does Ashwin do now? Does he take the single and level the scores? Singles available.

63.5 FH Edwards to Ashwin, no run, 145.6 kph, big lbw appeal. The inside edge saves him. India can't lose now. This can't even be a tie. Late swing now. Ashwin looks to work this to leg without taking a big risk, in order to rule out a dfeat.

Two results ruled out. Either India can win or this will draw. This could draw with scores level. Everybody saving two now. Ones available all over. In runs Edwards. Is this Ashwin's Test? Is this destiny?

63.6 FH Edwards to Ashwin, 1 run, OUT, 141.8 kph, West Indies salvage a draw here. Fletcher might as well say, "We flippin' murdered them." A length ball, pushes his weight back and smashes this down to long-on. It's as if he has made his mind up there is no second available. Slow to start, slow to turn around. He goes for the second only when Aaron pushes him. Run out by a mile. Did Ashwin miss a trick in the final moment? This doesn't by any means take away credit from what all Ashwin did in the lead-up

[Darren] Sammy has a smile on his face you won't be able to wipe off. He is still laughing five minutes after the match is over. [Virat] Kohli is distraught. Fletcher consoles him. Shakes of hands between the teams. What a great Test. Only the second time a Test has been drawn with scores level. The last time it happened was when England fell similarly short of beating Zimbabwe. And coach David Lloyd memorably said, "We flippin' murdered them."

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  • Kannan on November 28, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Ashwin showed lack of a winning attitude. He should have attempted to hit a 4 rather than play meekly for a draw with just 2 balls to go. India and WI crumbled because they went mentally weak. No demons in the pitch. India lost to Pak in Chennai and to Aus in Aus and in many such instances losing 3+ wickets in 10mins of the last day because they were badly prepared in attitude. India needs an attitude coach to make them think positive and have belief in their capabilities. The likes of Shastri who was responsible for that tie at Chennai against Aus are hardly role models... and neither is Sachin. Anybody can make tons of money betting that Sachin won't cross 30 in any tight pressure situation on the last day. I felt ashamed after the entire 5th day episode. This is not the India team I want to see play/represent India.

  • Vinay on November 27, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Test cricket is not dying but it is already dead! Most of the interest in this match was because of Sachin's hundred. Before that there were hardly any people there! A lot of people made excuses like facilities/weekday-test etc. for the poor turnout at the Eden but even the Aus-SA 2nd test witnessed near-empty stadium!! Would like to know the excuses for that! Nobody has the time for test matches these days and that's the truth! Test cricket is the ultimate test for the spectator!!! What was so great about this finish anyway? Even ODIs and T20 matches can finish like this (except for a draw). Half-day excitement is not worth the ordeal of 4.5 days!!! Well, may be for some, for most it is not!

  • Dummy4 on November 27, 2011, 1:37 GMT

    TEST Cricket is still alive man!!! First it was the 2nd Test Match between Australia and South Africa! And now a thriller at the Wankhede! Fantastic match! Kudos to Ashwin for his thinking in the penultimate over!!! This man has a great character!!! Expecting something special from this young man in future!

  • Phil on November 27, 2011, 0:44 GMT

    @Chris_Howard: Depends what you mean by closest match ever. In the other game drawn with the scores level, England were only 6 down at the end of the game, so it wasn't closer than this one. However, there have been two tied test matches, so were they closer? Does going down to the last possible ball of the match with all 4 results still possible qualify as closer? The only game I know of that fits that criteria, if only theoretically, was England v WI at Lord's in 1963. England needed 6 to win from the last ball (and hence 5 to tie) with their last pair at the crease.

  • james on November 27, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    How many more thrilling tests like this one do we need before the BCCI decides to give test cricket a chance?

  • Hollis on November 27, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    Great test match ! I believe a draw is a good result for both teams. Major improvement in West Indies cricket is emanating from the team spirit and togetherness that skipper Sammy is driving. West Indies need to concentrate on all four sessions . Now on to the 20s after a short break. Minus Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Pollard we still have a chance.

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2011, 23:40 GMT

    no matter which way you slice and dice......Ashwin lost the plot in the final 3 overs...its a Pyrrhic victory(draw) for the hosts and Ashwin..

  • Rocky on November 26, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    There was never a second run for Ashwin. I watched the highlight several time. If anyone is to be blamed its Sachin. He proved yet another time that he can't handle pressure.

  • Madhav on November 26, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    I think when the entire country was chanting his name and willing him to hit the winning runs, R.Ashwin was busy thinking about his test average - he wanted to remain Not Out. Both the interview he gave at the beginning of the day, and the last few overs he played at the end of the day(and the way he was interacting with Varun and Ishant) showed us a brain that is intelligent but also thinks too much. His brain seemed bit scrambled towards the end and team management should work on it. Dhoni should sit with this youngsters and try to impart some of his lion-heartedness to them. I think Ashwin needs some Sarfaroshi. But I think he will get there.

    The big picture here is that both the English tour and this particular match showed us that India is not worthy of the title of Test Champions. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Champions are supposed to win matches like this. I am disappointed. This is like a chess player drawing with white - its as good as a loss.

  • Jimmers on November 26, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Terrific few weeks for REAL cricket fans with the SA/AUS series and now this. Stuff your coloured-clothing clowning around, days like this are why I continue loving the game. Long live Test matches.

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