Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
Mumbai: West Indies ended the penultimate day of the final Test as the ones who were dominating as the scorecard read 81/2 at stumps. It was a day that saw a decent crowd turn up in anticipation of an epic century, only to be deceived by ill fate.
Pragyan Ojha’s double strike provided the early breakthroughs in the form of Adrian Barath and Kirk Edwards. The tweaker was on cue, trying to make something out of a placid pitch that has sent the final Test almost on the verge of a draw.
However, the visitors ensured no more loss of wickets and with a lead of 189 runs, it would not be surprising if they bat for one session tomorrow and ask India to chase to make a game out of the belter of a track.
Ravichandran Ashwin (103) became the first Indian in 44 years to have scored a century and taken five wickets in a single match. His sublime effort helped India register 482 all out against West Indies as tea break was taken.
West Indies would come out to bat with a lead of 108 runs and more than a day’s play left.
Ishant Sharma (5) and Varun Aaron (4) could not provide apt support and went back to the pavilion in quick time. The penultimate wicket fell with 463 runs on the board, making the task even tougher for Ashwin.
Prior to that, Virat Kohli could not carry the momentum and was caught by Fidel Edwards off Bishoo’s bowling at a score of 52 runs.
The duo of Kohli and Ashwin had slammed quick fifties and averted an embarrassing follow-on, forging a handy partnership to steady the Indian innings. The pair took the total past the 400-run mark as the belter of a Wankhede pitch offered no assistance to the bowlers.
India had gone into lunch after a disastrous morning session that saw Sachin Tendulkar getting out in nervous nineties alongside the collapse of the middle order. The scorecard read 376/6 at the juncture as Kohli and Ashwin tried to inch towards the mammoth WI total.
Skipper MS Dhoni was claimed by Darren Sammy as the team needed 60 more runs to avoid follow-on with the scorecard reading 331/6.
Prior to this, it was the biggest heartbreak for millions across the globe as Tendulkar got out at the cusp of an immortal century, claimed by Ravi Rampaul at a score of 94 runs.
The crowds went into a state of unbelievable shock at the fall while Rampaul took off on a run. It was a sharp catch at 2nd slip as Tendulkar went hard at the fuller delivery and the edge travelled to Sammy who reverse cupped it well. Tendulkar looked up at the sky and then at the toe end of his bat before slowly trudging off.
Just before the fifth wicket, a soft dismissal was in store for VVS Laxman (32) as he was out on the first ball that he faced.
The stadium was abuzz with the one thing on Friday, Sachin Tendulkar. The name figured in talks around India and the globe for one simple thing- a never before thought feat of a hundred international centuries. However, it was not to be and the world waits longer to see the feat culminate.
The penultimate day started with India trailing by 309 runs and Dhoni’s apprehensions were compounded with the middle order collapse.