Day 5 at the Wankhede

Yahoo cricket editorial blogs

(During the course of the third Test between India and the West Indies at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai we’ll post live updates, analysis, reader comments and reactions. Please hit F5 periodically for new posts.)

05.12pm: Ashwin is deservedly the Man of the Match for his haul of 9-190 and maiden international century. He is also named Man of the Series for his 22 wickets at an average of 22.90 and strike rate of 46.3.

Ojha took 20 wickets at an average of 22.50 and strike rate of 53.2; while the highest run-scorer for India in the series was Rahul Dravid who scored 319 runs, including a century and two half-centuries at an average of 63.80.

Darren Bravo with 404 runs, including two centuries at an average of 67.33 topped the run-scoring chart for West Indies; while captain Darren Sammy was the highest wicket-taker for the tourists with 9 wickets at an average of 34.77 and strike rate of 50.

The two sides next square-off in the first of the five-match ODI series at Cuttack in a day-night match on November 29.

For images of the action from Day 5 at the Wankhede, click here.

05:09pm: West Indies will be mighty glad they didn't break this old old record - The record for highest total to lose a match belongs to Australia, who lost after scoring 586 in the first innings in Sydney in 1894-95. Had they lost the match, they would only have had themselves to blame for a shambolic batting performance today morning, but all's well that ends well I guess for Windies and they would have learnt plenty from this tour. West Indies took a first innings lead twice in this series but their lack of experience and inability to play spin proved to be their downfall, but they are taking steps in the right direction. The spin combination of Ashwin and Ojha has been the biggest gain for India in this series as has been the batting and bowling of the pacers.

Virat Kohli batted well for his 63 in India's second innings.

05.05pm: Sixteen wickets fell on the last day of the series - eight of them in the first session when the West Indies batsmen lost their heads and played some bad shots, but that's not to take anything away from the exceptional spin bowling of Ojha and Ashwin. India's run chase for the most part was beautifully timed but they failed to score that one run. Sehwag and Kohli played well; but Rampaul, Samuels and Bishoo all bowled well for West Indies. The Wankhede curator Sudhir Naik does have the last laugh after all. That's the beauty of this game and Test cricket!

04:55pm: The Mumbai Test ends in a DRAW!!! Guess with the fluctuations in fortunes today, this was the most apt result. A fantastic last over from Fidel Edwards though; India needed only 3 runs to win in the last over and the first three balls faced by Varun Aaron saw no run being scored. He took a single off the fourth delivery thanks to a misfield by Samuels and then Ashwin survived a LBW appeal thanks to an inside edge off the fifth delivery. The last ball of the series saw Ashwin smash a ball to long-on and from the moment he played the ball, it was obvious he would be happy with the single and he went for the second run only when Aaron pushed him, but it was too little and too late as he was run out by a mile. Ashwin may have adopted the safe route there, but such things happen. And, don't forget he has had a fantastic match and debut series. West Indies deserved the draw and not to be whitewashed 3-0.

04.40pm: And, the drama continues in this Test .... what a see-saw battle. Ishant Sharma had batted well for his 17-ball 10 but minutes after surviving a run out chance, the lanky pacer was clean bowled by a Rampaul beauty that burst through his defence and uprooted the leg stump. Rampaul has bowled his heart out and deserves his figures of 3-56. Ashwin and Ishant added 15 valuable runs for the ninth wicket.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy collides with an advertising board while trying to stop a boundary.

04.18pm: It is only fit that an intriguing day of Test cricket has yet another twist as Kohli is caught by a limping Sammy off the injured Bishoo. Kohli had played well for his 63 and couldn't believe that he had top edged an attempted cut to Sammy and trudged off the field with disappointment written large on his face. Just a while earlier, there was a hold up in play as Sammy got some treatment on his injured leg.

04.12pm: There is a lot of noise coming from the stands at the Wankhede Stadium ... Good to see such a sight in India for a Test match. Sammy and the Windies are now taking time to set fields and the umpires may just have to intervene if they take plenty of time over each field change.

03.59pm: Kohli has just scored his second half-century of the match. It's a special effort from the youngster on a tricky batting surface on the last day and Kohli will want to take India home. The hosts need 37 runs to win with four wickets in hand. There are nine overs left in the series and looks like the teams have saved the best for last!

03.40pm: Bishoo is back on the field and though he is still limping, the young spinner is aware the Windies may need him to turn his arm over at some point in time. Meanwhile, Rampaul has had India captain MS Dhoni well caught by Kirk Edwards at short cover. Excellent start to the final session of the series. Fourteen wickets have fallen today ... what a day of Test cricket and it ain't over yet!

03.36pm: The last hour of the series about to start - India need 55 runs in 15 overs; West Indies need five wickets for a win. Which way will it swing? Kohli and Dhoni should go for the target as India have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Sammy will need to be at his attacking best as will his bowlers and fielders.

03.01pm: Bishoo has limped off the field. All the three results are still possible; what a last day of Test cricket. Fantastic stuff!

02:57pm: Moments after Laxman had played an exquisite cover drive to bring up the 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Kohli and himself, the stylish batsman threw away a start as he failed to properly execute the pull shot off a Rampaul bouncer and he only succeeded in top-edging a catch to Barath at mid-on.

02:41pm: If India chase down the target, it will be the highest successful chase at the Wankhede. That's enough incentive in itself to play positively and keep chipping away at the remaining runs.

Marlon Samuels dismissed Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in the post-lunch session.

02:19pm: India have had a mini-collapse of their own in the second session as the hosts slipped from 101 for 1 to 113-4 with Samuels taking the wickets of Dravid and Tendulkar. At tea on Day 5, India are 148-4 and need 95 runs off 30 overs to win the match and sweep the series. If West Indies take a couple of wickets early in the last session of the series, they may just fancy their chances of winning the match. At the start of the day, the obvious result seemed to be a draw but the spinners of both the teams are ensuring this would not end up being a boring day of cricket. The previous four days certainly were though!

Virender Sehwag made an attacking 60 before he perished trying to play a reverse sweep off Bishoo.

01:43pm: Well ... well ... well! The last day's play continue to intrigue as Dravid fails to keep an attempted flick down and substitute Denesh Ramdin at deep midwicket takes a good catch as Samuels takes his second wicket of the innings. Dravid out for 33 and India 113 for 4 in their chase of 243. The odd ball is stopping on the batsmen and they will have to be careful while playing the drive. Sammy has an attacking field in place.

01:28pm: Sehwag made the Windies pay for those three dropped chances, but he also managed to invent a rather idiotic way of getting himself out. Sehwag's attempt at playing a reverse paddle off Bishoo only resulted in the ball getting the edge and lobbing up to Sammy for an easy catch at short fine leg.

Marlon Samuels then ensured any hopes that Tendulkar's fans would have had of the master batsman getting his 100th international century at the Wankhede wouldn't be realised when he had India's No. 4 well caught by Kirk Edwards at short midwicket. The ball bounced a bit more than Tendulkar expected and though he attempted to check his drive, the ball got the top half of the bat. Tendulkar out for 3 in what was most likely his last international innings at the Wankhede. It will be interesting to see if India continue to go for the chase or play it safe from here on.

01:13pm: West Indies have given Sehwag three reprieves, and the 'Nawab of Najafgarh' is certainly making the visitors pay dearly for those drops. He has just scored his fifth Test half-century against West Indies. Sehwag hit consecutive boundaries off Bishoo to reach the landmark. At the other end, Dravid is his usual calm and composed self and is keeping the scoreboard ticking over. The batsmen are not being troubled by any of the West Indies bowlers. Time for Sammy to think about his fielding and bowling options.

Tweets on India’s Test squad for Australia tour:

Harsha Bhogle – “it was an easy indian team to pick. sometimes you get it right!”

Sanjay Manjrekar – “On current form..there was no place for bhajji...but as he would well know, current form keeps changing..not end of road for bhajji” & “There are always forces working in favour of big name players..good to see selectors have kept this all about cricket.”

Ayaz Memon – “all considered, good job by selectors. Several young batsmen and bowlers in the squad with an eye on the future.”

Aakash Chopra – “’Wise Men’ deserve a pat on the back for picking the right squad from Aus. Form, quite correctly, seemed to be the 'operative' word.”

12.50pm: West Indies aren't doing themselves any favour here as Sehwag has just been given his third life - Rampaul, Bishoo and Sammy have all failed to hold on to the catches offered by India's opening batsman and these lapses could really cost the visitors in the final analysis. Bishoo is limping but he is still Windies's best chance of getting back into the match if he can take advantage of the track in the same way that Ojha and Ashwin did in the morning.

12.38pm: India's 17-man Test squad for the Australia series has been announced, and as expected there is no place for Harbhajan Singh. Praveen Kumar comes back to the squad after missing the ongoing Test series against West Indies.

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt &wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Zaheer Khan.

12.27pm: West Indies needed an early breakthrough in the post-lunch session and Fidel Edwards, who has been working up decent pace on the slow Wankhede pitch gets Gautam Gambhir caught by Darren Sammy at point. A little while earlier, Ravi Rampaul had dropped a catch off his own bowling to give Sehwag a reprieve. Rahul Dravid, who has hit a purple patch of form in 2011 joins Sehwag in the middle after Gambhir's dismissal.

12.08pm: Cricinfo has come up with this interesting statistic - The record for highest total to lose a match belongs to Australia, who lost after scoring 586 in the first innings in Sydney in 1894-95. That match involved a follow-on too, but it happened in a timeless Test.

Ashwin had a Test to remember as he not only finished with match figures of 9-190 but also scored his maiden international century. Ojha and Ashwin ran through West Indies in the second innings.

Reactions on Twitter:

Ayaz Memon – “windies brittle batting exposed. Run chase shud be ecxiting. Sehwag is the key figure”

Harsha Bhogle – “ojha’s dismissal of bravo and ashwin’s wicket of baugh as good spin bowling as any you will see”

Aakash Chopra – “I’m not saying that take Bhajji to Aus...Ashwin n Ojha have sealed the deal. Just saying that praising one doesn't mean maligning other!”

11.32am: Ojha and Ashwin turned things around for India in the first session with some help from the Windies batsmen. India need 243 to win the Test and go into Lunch at 16 for none with Virender Sehwag (6*) and Gautam Gambhir unbeaten on 9. The hosts are favourites to win the match; something which couldn't be said at the start of the day's play.

11.28am: Ashwin (22) and Ojha (20) have taken 42 of the 60 West Indies wickets to fall in the Test series. The pair can start packing their bags for the tour Down Under, and the best that Harbhajan Singh can hope for is to put in some consistent and impressive performances in the Ranji Trophy to get himself back into contention, if at all. Bravo was the top run-scorer for West Indies in the series with 404 runs, including two centuries at an average of 67.33.

11.18am: West Indies would have been confident of saving the Test when they resumed on their overnight score of 81 for 2, but they had a public nervous breakdown as they collapsed from 112-3 to be bowled out for 134. The third innings jinx has affected West Indies yet again and their tremendous effort in the first innings is at the risk of being rendered meaningless yet again. Top effort by Ojha and Ashwin, who took six and four wickets respectively in West Indies's second innings. India need 243 in 64 overs to whitewash West Indies in the Test series. We have an exciting finale on our hands thanks to the shambolic batting by the Windies batsmen whose shot selection left a lot to be desired.

10.39am: Ojha took the first five West Indies wickets and Ashwin has got into the action as well. As expected, the spin duo are making life difficult for the Windies batsmen.

Ojha caught the dangerous Bravo off his own bowling when the young southpaw failed to get to the pitch of a flighted delivery outside the off stump and his attempted cover drive only resulted in a chip back to the bowler. He then had Marlon Samuels, who was beaten by a quick delivery even as he stepped out of the crease before Ojha had released the ball – as a result, he was well beaten and Dhoni completed the easy stumping.

Ashwin then clean bowled Carlton Baugh with an off-spinner’s dream delivery as a ball tossed up outside the off stump turned in and had his wickets rattled as the offbreak burst through the massive gate created by the batsman. He then trapped Powell LBW with a length ball that pitched outside the off stump but the height looked fine and the umpire upheld Ashwin’s appeal.

10.35am: West Indies have had their share of problems in the third innings during this series and they seem to be conspiring against themselves again at Mumbai as they have collapsed from 112 for 3 to 120 for 7. Ojha has taken his second five-wicket haul in Tests while Ashwin has picked up the other two wickets. Could we be in for an unexpected exciting finale to the Test series?

Pragyan Ojha took his second five-wicket haul in Tests and was a handful for the West Indies batsmen.

10.16am: Ashwin has finally been brought on. This should make for an intriguing battle between the lanky spinner and the two West Indian southpaws - Bravo and Kieran Powell.

It is a known fact that Ashwin has a level head and speaks well; and he showed this yet again in an interview with Ravi Shastri on Neo Cricket before the start of play on Day 5 when he said his celebrations after scoring his maiden international hundred were muted because there's a legend (Tendulkar) in the dressing room who has 99 international hundreds and if he had been over-the-top, he may have come across as an arrogant cricketer (that may not have been the case), but the point is he is a mature young player who has a bright future ahead of him as long as he continues this attitude. What a start to his Test career!

10.08am: A few of Dhoni's tactics have been questioned during this series and his reluctance to bowl Ashwin in tandem with Ojha early today has been quite baffling. Dhoni has used Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron at the other end despite Ojha getting turn and bounce from the wicket. Ashwin will be itching to bowl at the Windies batsmen and with good reason. Meanwhile, Bravo has crossed 400 runs for the series. That's a top effort from the young West Indian batsman.

Sanjay Manjrekar tweets: “Dhoni's use of ishant has been curious this often he has bowled him when an obvious better option available..”

9.57am: The third West Indian wicket falls early on the last day with Ojha being the successful bowler. Brathwaite was done in by the extra bounce as he tried to play the cut shot, but only managed to lob a catch to Tendulkar at point. Ojha has taken all the three wickets to fall in West Indies's second innings. The performance of Ojha and Ashwin has surely shut the door on Harbhajan Singh's chances of being selected for the Australia tour.

Pragyan Ojha dismissed Kraig Brathwaite early on Day 5.

The last day of the Test series between India and West Indies is upon us, and thanks to the flat deck at the Wankhede, the last four days have been a challenge for the bowlers and spectators alike. That script is expected to be followed on Day 5 of the third Test as well with the pitch offering no assistance to the bowlers whatsoever.

West Indies resume Day 5 on 81-2 with Kraigg Brathwaite on 34* and Darren Bravo unbeaten on 27. Pragyan Ojha dismissed Adrian Barath and Kirk Edwards before the end of play yesterday.

Unless there’s a remarkable collapse, this match is headed for a draw. The Windies batsmen, especially Brathwaite and the impressive Bravo will look to make huge individual scores. For India, expect the spinners Ojha and R Ashwin to do a fair bit of bowling today.

The main talking point at the Wankhede, and in fact, the whole of India yesterday would have been Sachin Tendulkar being dismissed for 94. My colleague AR Hemant makes a valid point when he makes a case against personal records.

Meanwhile, India’s squad for the first three one-day internationals has been named. Skipper MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have been rested; and as a result Virender Sehwag will captain India in the ODI series.

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