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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Quicks seal India's incredible series win

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Manjrekar: Familiar chinks in the armour resurfaced (2:00)

Sanjay Manjrekar expected the West Indies fight from the second Test will be carried forward in this series but was disappointed with their performance in the third Test (2:00)

India 353 (Ashwin 118, Saha 104, Cummins 3-54) and 217 for 7 decl. (Rahane 78*, Cummins 6-48) beat West Indies 225 (Brathwaite 64, Bhuvneshwar 5-33) and 108 (Bravo 59, Shami 3-15) by 237 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

On Thursday, the third day of the St Lucia Test, India saw rain wash a whole day's play out, with runs having been scored at about 2.5 an over on the first two days. The bowlers' last memory of having taken a wicket was 79.2 overs ago. By the end of the play on Saturday, the fifth day, India had taken 17 wickets in 63.5 overs to complete an incredible Test and series win, one that was borne as much out of belief and intent as out of West Indies' lack of resistance after what hopefully wasn't a false dawn in Jamaica.

India began the final day believing they could still win; West Indies did nothing to make India doubt it. After Bhuvneshwar Kumar's swing masterclass left India 285 in lead at the end of the fourth day, India quickly ran away to 60 runs in nine overs to leave West Indies with no chance of winning and 87 overs to survive.

That was a big difference between Jamaica and St Lucia: there, one counterattack put the hosts within sight of parity and gave them direction. Here they didn't know where to go. Feet stopped moving, brains got muddled, plans went absent, and India stayed relentless. The victory, the first time India won two Tests in a series outside Asia since 2005 and the first time ever in the West Indies, arrived before tea.

The gulf in the class and awareness between the teams was glaring on the fifth day. It began with awareness and intent. India knew the outfield was slow, they knew they were short on time, so they came out running runs as if in street cricket. Tip and run, runs to slip, second runs with the ball in the fielder's hand, thirds because of panicked throws and poor backing-up, India almost literally stole these runs from under West Indies' noses. A six-wicket haul for Miguel Cummins as the batsmen went after the bowling was the only silver lining on a dark day for West Indies cricket. Ajinkya Rahane, not surprisingly, top-scored with an unbeaten 78.

Then came the question of class. West Indies still had only 87 overs to survive on a pretty reliable surface. Except that the batting was not reliable. Coming into this innings having lost their last seven first-innings wickets in 16.2 overs, West Indies needed a solid start. It wasn't to be. On a new-ball pitch, the India quicks were soon going to be all over them. This was going to call for gumption, especially if West Indies lost a wicket early on. Which they duly did, with new opener Leon Johnson fending Mohammed Shami to short leg.

Bhuvneshwar, who had cracked the game open with a quick five-for on day four, then had Kraigg Brathwaite - not the only West Indies batsman who prefers to stay back - with a really full delivery. The inswinger held its line a little, Brathwaite played across its line and was caught dead plumb. With openers gone in the fifth over, there was extra responsibility on the most experienced West Indies batsmen, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo. Samuels couldn't have played a more irresponsible innings.

Samuels went from fasting to sugar rush, betraying no sense of plan or direction to his batting. He faced the first 12 balls of his innings responsibly, avoiding the short-pitch barrage nicely. With no run to his name, and no intent to score any until then, out of nowhere he looked for a lofted off drive to the 13th ball he faced. Having survived that rush of blood, having scored his first run off the 21st ball he faced, Samuels got two half-volleys from R Ashwin, boundaries off which should have settled down nerves.

Samuels, though, went on a hitting spree. He was lucky he mistimed his next big shot, an attempted loft with a long-on in place. This one fell short, but Samuels, having been dormant for the first half of the innings, struggled to calm himself down. The feet didn't move, the bat went high, an inswinger from Ishant Sharma burst through the gate and sent the off stump on a cartwheel.

Three wickets had been lost in 13.2 overs, but Roston Chase and Bravo batted more sensibly and saw West Indies through to lunch. Post lunch, Ishant produced the delivery of the innings to remove the centurion from Jamaica, Chase. India had got their act together for Chase, bowling fuller than they did in Jamaica, giving him less time to recover should there be any misbehaviour off the pitch. This one misbehaved massively, seaming back in from a full length to take the off stump out.

Jermaine Blackwood's attacking ways were less likely to work here; India had anyway cut off his runs by not bowling in his zone. A frustrated big drive - trying to save a Test with parity nowhere in sight - brought an on-the-line stumping, and half the side was gone even before the ball became old and settled down.

After about the 30th over, the pitch settled down a little. The edges began to die, as R Ashwin found out with Bravo who reached his first fifty in eight innings. The seam movement ceased. A main batsman would have found this period easier to negotiate, but Shane Dowrich fell to a disciplined spell from Shami, who followed on from a seven-over interrogation by Bhuvneshwar. Jason Holder ran himself out, and with the tail in the middle it was just a consolation that West Indies managed to cross 100 and didn't succumb to their lowest total against India.

Collapsed at end

14

Runs added by India's last 4 wickets after Ashwin-Saha's stand. India lost their last 5 wickets in 48 balls.

Some start

35

West Indies's highest opening stand in Tests since start of 2015 in 26 inns, before this. Johnson-Brathwaite have added more than 50 runs in this inns.

Long time ago

23

No. of inns for West Indies against India without their top-2 wickets adding 50 or more runs, before this. Their last such inns was in Basseterre in 2006.

Handy contributions at top

2012

Last time West Indies' top-5 all scored 20 or more in a Test inns at home, before this match - vs Aus, Bridgetown. Last time vs India at home was in 1996-97, Kingston.

Bhuvi's turn-around

51

No. of balls in which Bhuvneshwar took his five-wickets. In his first 91 balls, he was wicket-less.

India's No. 3 woes

24.74

Average of India's batsmen at No. 3 in Tests since Jan 2014 - worst among all teams. Excluding WI, Ban and Zim, all the other teams' No. 3 average 40+.

Ro-hit

113.33

Rohit Sharma's strike rate off his last 30 balls till end of play, in which he scored 34 runs with 3 sixes. He had made just 7 runs off his first 27 balls with only a four.

How much more?

298

Highest score by West Indies in 4th inns vs India at home, in St John's, 2006. The lead has already gone past 340 for India now.

Can West Indies repeat?

88.1

Overs batted by West Indies on the fifth day in the last Test, losing just 2 wickets, to draw the Test. They are set 346 runs to win in 87 overs today.

Bravo's game

45.54

Bravo's average in the 4th inns of Tests, before this match. He averages better only in 3rd inns, marginally, 46.47.

Fifty at last

9

No. of inns without a 50+ score for Bravo at home, before this inns. He was dismissed in scores of 10 to 30 in 7 of those inns.

Big win

2

No. of bigger wins in terms of runs for India outside Asia, before this 237-run win. They had won by 279 runs at Headingley in 1986 and by 272 runs in Auckland 1967-68.