India in West Indies / Features

West Indies v India, 3rd Test, St Kitts, 5th day

A day of ebbs and flows

The target of 392 in 88 overs meant that India required an asking rate of 4.45 per over, and while at certain points it seemed they were on track, a draw was always the most likely result

On the Ball with S Rajesh

June 26, 2006

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The target of 392 in 88 overs meant that India required an asking rate of 4.45 per over, and while at certain points it seemed they were on track, a draw was always the most likely result. India's best chance of forcing a win rested on Virender Sehwag providing them a rollicking start. He did do that, smashing 65 off 75 balls - only his fourth 50-plus score in the second innings - but as Rahul Dravid said after the match, India needed him to stay for another session.

The graphic below shows how the game ebbed and flowed over the three sessions. Before lunch, with Sehwag leading the way, India were the frontrunners, scoring at more than four an over. Sehwag's dismissal off the first ball after lunch immediately turned the momentum West Indies' way, as they restricted India to just 91 from 29 overs in the afternoon session. That was the period when India were in consolidation mode, with Dravid, especially, struggling to get quick runs, getting to just 20 off 58 balls.

With 192 required from 33 overs in the final session, the Indians upped the ante immediately after the break, scoring 43 in eight overs before Laxman left. Though Mahendra Singh Dhoni started with a six, he failed to sustain the momentum, and once he was dismissed, there was no question about the result - the last 22 overs brought India only 55 runs and they closed the shutters, ensuring that the last Test, in Jamaica, will be a winner-takes-all clash.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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