Before I sign off, and for archival purposes, Ashwin has tweeted this: "Can anyone tell what differently cud have been done??instead of saying cud have run the 2...moment I completed 1 the throw was over my head." Which is fair enough, except that there was a chance Baugh might have fumbled with the take had he not stopped and then run. Pressure does weird things to people. He should have taken that risk. At any rate, credit to him for playing the fifth ball the way he did. He tried to work it to leg, but made sure he didn't take any undue risk, in order to ensure India couldn't lose. On that note, a final goodbye. Well played all
So what a Test match. What a hard-fought day. Bishoo and Sammy were limping. Rampaul was bowling on an unresponsive pitch. India were chasing out of their skins. There were misifelds, there were inspirational balls bowled. Four results and "flippin' murder" possible all the way until the last two balls. And enjoyed by a lovely crowd, who put rest to the notion outside India that India watches cricket only for Tendulkar. Both teams showed character, both went for the win without taking what could be termed a foolhardy risk. West Indies will rue the misfields. India will rue that three batsmen - Sehwag, Laxman, Kohli - didn't finish it off. It was great fun bringing the commentary to you. Hope you enjoyed it. This is Sidharth Monga singing off
MS Dhoni: "The final day was superb, and we would have forgotten the first four days, which can be called boring to some extent. The Last time we played at CCI, there was something in the morning, and it fizzled out. We weren't expecting it to as much as it did today. When batting we lost wickets at the wrong time. Also they played good cricket. It's a lesson it's not yours until it's in your kitty. Also I would love to see wickets turning this much on the first evening so we don't have to wait five days for the excitement."
R Ashwin is the Man of the Match and the man of the Series. He says, "The last two overs I thought Ishant played really well. The field was up for him, so I thought it was a better chance of squeezing a boundary through. The last two balls I wanted to defend first and then go after the last ball. Didn't work out unfortunately. Never thought it would so close. as it got old, the ball bounced and stopped, but it was definitely not unplayable. Ojha bowled really well, and built the pressure."
Time for presentation, the final one of the series. Ravi Shastri calls it the ideal result. Darren Sammy says, "Congrats to India for winning the series. This match is a great advert for Test cricket, like Australia-South Africa. We were looking for the win, and then tie (sic). Bishoo bowling on one leg. Lion-heart. Marlon bowling 20-something overs on the bounce. Ravi's bowling. I know we didn't bat well today, but we fought. We knew it was going to be tough on these wickets, but we stuck it out. We showed we are improving. It's about putting both innings together, and we will be better competitors. Especially in this match to see this inexperienced line-up post 590 against India in India was good. We lost the last tow matches in an hour. One session each took the game away from us. But we are fighting, and I am sure the fans are happy with the improvement."
Okay I am watching replays of that last ball. Ashwin wanted the second but why did he take an age to turn? That shouldn't take away from what Ashwin has does in the rest of the Test, though
Sammy has a smile on his face you won't be able to wipe off. He is till laughing five minutes after the match is over. Kohli is distraught. Fletcher consoles him. The only man smiling more than Sammy is the other Darren who had promised to get a Dhoni tattoo on his back if this match was either won or lost. He writes in, wiping all the sweat from his forehead I am sure, "Never in doubt. No Dhoni tattoo on my back. No chance of a result at all." Shakes of hands between the teams. What a great Test. Only the second time a Test has been drawn with scores level with one side chasing for a win. The last time it happened was when England fell similarly short of beating Zimbabwe. And coach David Lloyd memorably said, "We flippin' murdered them."
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?
Right what does Ashwin do now? Does he take the single and level the scores? Singles available
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
Last over of the match coming up. India need three runs. WI need two wickets. The field will be up. Edwards will be asked to bowl full and straight. Sehwag still lounges on the massage table. Only fine leg and third man are back
India one shot from the win. West Indies two balls away. All four results plus "we flippin' murdered them" still open. In walks debutant Varun Aaron. The man at the other end might seem like a veteran of 50 Tests, but this is his third Test. Singles available all over
Now Ashwin calls Sharma for a chat. Varun Aaron stands padded up
Five men saving one now
Six required off the last two overs. One edge and this could be over. They need Rampaul to bowl two bouncers and two yorkers this over, which are not edged away for runs
Singles available for Sharma. Light has faded. No shadows on the field
Crowd goes "Ash-weeeen, Ash-weeen"
No real bouncers so far. Perhaps they don't want to risk to top edges
Seven men saving the single. The crowd builds up to a crescendo as Castro runs in
Target in single digits now. The field comes up. Sammy comes down to have a chat with Edwards. Must be asking him how he got his nickname. Sehwag is lying down on the massage table. Lounging really. Tendulkar and Laxman standing around him
Nine minutes remaining, which means we can't get more than three overs in. Are WI hoping the light fades away drastically and quickly? Castro comes back