Before the start of the West Indies’ tour of India in the winter of 2011, many cricket pundits expected the hosts to win the three-match Test series, largely owning the advantage on home soil. The tournament script looked very similar during the first two games of the series. However, no one could have predicted what happened on the last day of the third Test match.
Yes, the draw was the expected result at the start of the fifth day of Wankhede testing. But instead of a boring draw, the viewers witnessed the most extraordinary day in red-ball cricket as the match ended in a draw.
It should be noted that it was only the second time in the history of Test cricket when the match ended in a draw with the score at level.
India’s spin wizard Ravichandra Ashwin was awarded man of the match as well as player of the series, but he wasn’t the best player of the moment for the hosts when they needed just two runs from the last ball to win the final test. He ran a solo in the last ball to level the score but wasn’t fast enough in the second over, which could have sealed the win as well as helped record a clean sweep for India.
West Indies’ Fidel Edwards, who was known for securing powerful draws for his team with the bat, once again did the job for his side but this time with the ball.
Batting first, the West Indies scored a total of 590 runs for the loss of ten wickets in their first innings. In reply, India huffed and puffed their way to 482 runs for the loss of ten wickets, courtesy of an impressive hundred from Ashwin.
In contrast to the first innings, the West Indies had a terrible outing with the bat during the second innings as they were bowled out for 134 runs, giving India a target of 243 to win the match.
India’s start to the second half was not great as they lost to Gautam Gambhir in the fifth round of the match. Then Virender Sehwag scored a fine fifty to set India’s pace. Virat Kohli also hit an impressive fifty while batting in the sixth to keep the home side’s drive on track.
Towards the end, India took complete control of the match as they needed 42 runs in ten overs to win the match. At the time, it wasn’t a tough battle with Kohli and Ashwin at the crease.
However, within four overs everything changed after Kohli was caught bowling Devendra Bishoo, putting Ashwin in the spotlight. For the next five overs, Ashwin looked in remarkable control as he tried to steer India to a tense win. Ashwin added 15 runs with Ishant Sharma before the pacer was again sent to the wing in the penultimate last bowl over.
With three needing the last ball from the over, Edwards bowled the ball into the field. Newcomer Varun Arun was not able to score a single run from the three balls. In the fourth ball he took one ball to spin the strike with Ashwin and the next ball from over was another point ball.
Ashwin hit the last ball from over towards long but was unable to complete two runs as the match ended in a draw.