West Indies v India, 4th Test, Jamaica, 3rd day July 2, 2006

Ramdin's spunk, and Kumble the matchwinner

In the end India finally delivererd the knockout punch and sealed a series victory, but it was much closer than Rahul Dravid would have anticipated when West Indies had slumped to 128 for 6 and then 144 for 7

In the end India finally delivererd the knockout punch and sealed a series victory, but it was much closer than Rahul Dravid would have anticipated when West Indies had slumped to 128 for 6 and then 144 for 7. Denesh Ramdin has often been touted as a future West Indies captain - he led the side at the Under-19 level - and he showed just why he is rated so highly.

The job he was entrusted with was a tough one - not only did he have to keep the Indian attack at bay and ensure he didn't get out, he also had to protect the tail from the guiles of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, and of course keep scoring runs and getting West Indies closer to the target. He did all that quite superbly.

The graphic shows just how Ramdin took charge, especially after Jerome Taylor fell for 20, leaving West Indies on 180 for 8. The next wicket fell 39 runs and 9.3 overs later, and Pedro Collins's contribution to that was just 3 runs, in 19 balls, as Ramdin stole boundaries when Dravid brought the field in, and also managed to steal singles to retain strike. He added 35 runs in the company of Collins, before Kumble finally managed to nail the last two wickets.

Kumble's 6 for 78 was his 33rd five-wicket haul, and his best against West Indies, bettering the 5 for 30 he took at Chennai in 2002-03. His seven-wicket haul in the match also took his tally of wickets in Tests won to beyond 250 - he now has 256, at an excellent average of 18.50. Just how valuable a matchwinner he has been for India can be gleaned from the tally of the next-highest wicket-taker for India in wins - Harbhajan Singh only has 128. Kumble's haul was also his ninth five-for overseas, where he now has a tally of 208 wickets at 36.65.

While this was a good Test for the bowlers, the batsmen didn't quite have it their way, like they had through most of the series. It was an especially wretched match for the opening partnerships: India's first wicket fell at one in each innings, while Chris Gayle's pair of ducks - the second of his career, after one against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001-02 - ensured that West Indies' opening stand didn't add a run in either innings.

The match aggregate of two runs for the first wicket is the lowest for any Test which has had at least two innings. The previous lowest was three, over two innings between New Zealand and England at Auckland in 1983-84. For a Test in which all four innings were played, the previous lowest was eight, on two occasions - between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston in 1999, and between West Indies and Zimbabwe in Trinidad in 1999-2000.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo