Fifth Test

West Indies v India

At Kingston, May 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. West Indies won by 155 runs. Toss: India.

Heavy rain ravaged Jamaica for 11 days after this match. Drizzle delayed the final morning's start, and the front that would drench Kingston was no more than half an hour away when Zaheer Khan slogged to extra cover, giving West Indies the victory that secured the series. They had needed only nine overs to extract India's last three wickets.

Ganguly, who called correctly for the first time and chose to bowl on the grassiest Sabina Park pitch anyone could remember, identified the opening partnership of 111 between the two Jamaican left-handers, Gayle and Hinds, as decisive. India's bowlers wasted the conditions, allowing the two local boys to prepare a strong base. Only briefly did West Indies loosen their grip.

It was not until eight overs after lunch that the Indians got their first wicket, when Zaheer removed Gayle; they had to wait until midway through the final session for their second, as Hinds added a further 135 with Sarwan. But they came back into contention with three late wickets, starting with Hinds, caught at long-off. He had hit two sixes and 14 fours in his second Test century, batting five hours. India's fightback continued next morning, when Srinath dismissed Hooper, but the balance shifted again as Chanderpaul and Jacobs put on 109; even though the last five fell for 21, with Harbhajan Singh claiming the first five-in-an-innings of the series, by then West Indies were back in control. Chanderpaul had extended his record for batting without dismissal to 1,513 minutes, spread over four Tests, before Srinath finally defeated him.

Dillon removed Wasim Jaffer and Dravid cheaply, Tendulkar and Das added 69 then went within two runs of each other and, once Dillon ended a promising partnership of 82 between Ganguly and Laxman on the third morning, the usual late-order collapse ensued. The last six tumbled for 44, Dillon returning Test-best figures of five for 71. As at Port-of-Spain, Laxman was left high and dry; this time, there was no way back.

Despite a lead of 210, Hooper waived the follow-on. But careless strokes reflected West Indian complacency. They were 122 for seven when Dillon, swinging wildly, was bowled by Nehra; it took sensible batting by Chanderpaul and Collins to focus them on building an overwhelming target. When Collins was last out on the fourth morning, India required 408 for victory, two more than their own record fourth-innings total to win at Port-of-Spain in 1975-76.

Collins was soon in the picture again, removing both openers in his first two overs. But Tendulkar was in such commanding touch that India's task began to appear less daunting. A wide array of strokes brought him 13 boundaries; he scored 86 out of 145 while at the wicket. Tendulkar became the tenth player to reach 8,000 Test runs just before tea, but six balls after the interval his nemesis Collins, coming round the wicket, breached his defence to hit middle and off.

His dismissal utterly deflated the Indians, who now seemed resigned to their fate. Ganguly and Laxman both perished to inappropriate hook shots, and on the final morning the tailenders made no effort to hang on, even when rain was imminent.

Man of the Match: W. W. Hinds.
Man of the Series: S. Chanderpaul.
Close of play: First day, West Indies 287-4 (Hooper 14, Chanderpaul 4); Second day, India 141-4 (Ganguly 22, Laxman 27); Third day, West Indies 165-7 (Chanderpaul 55, Collins 4); Fourth day, India 237-7 (Ratra 16, Zaheer Khan 4).

© John Wisden & Co