When West Indies skipper Jason Holder took the second new ball straightaway to begin proceedings on Sunday morning, few would have thought the second Test here too would get over in three days. But 16 wickets fell on Day 3 to make it possible.
India were 308 for four with Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant on the verge of a 150-run stand and the hosts eyeing a substantial lead so that they don’t need to bat for a second time in the match. But Holder’s fifer, which took his average (11.87) to the top among bowlers with 30 or more wickets in a year in the past 100 years, restricted India’s lead to just 56 runs. The average fell below Shoaib Akhtar after he failed to get a wicket in the second innings.
West Indies thought they were in the match. But their batting faltered again on a track that did not offer much to the bowlers. West Indies were wrapped up for 127 in their second essay giving India a meager 72 runs target with Umesh Yadav bagging his maiden 10-wicket match haul.
India completed their 10th-successive series win at home, including ones against Bangladesh and Afghanistan, with a 10-wicket victory. Prithvi Shaw and KL Rahul both were unbeaten on 33. India have not lost a home series since their defeat to England in 2012.
Holder struck twice in his second over of the morning. First he got Rahane caught at gully with one that bounced a wee bit extra. Ravindra Jadeja, who got his maiden Test century in the last match in Rajkot, was trapped in front first ball. India could have been seven down the next ball but R Ashwin survived a leg-before appeal that stayed not out via umpire’s call after review. India were 314/6.
Two overs later, Pant pushed a short ball from Shannon Gabriel straight to cover. Twice now in two matches, Pant fell for 92. Holder completed his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests when he had Kuldeep Yadav’s off-stump cart-wheeling.
Injured Shardul Thakur was sent out to bat with Ashwin after Umesh Yadav was caught behind with India just 31 runs ahead. That showed a slight desperation on India’s part as the Mumbai medium-pacer hobbled up and down the wicket for singles. India managed a 56-run lead, all out for 367 when Gabriel rattled Ashwin’s off-stump.
After West Indies came out to bat post-lunch, Umesh Yadav struck in the second ball of the innings when he got Kraigg Brathwaite caught down the leg. Ashwin struck in the fourth, Rahane taking a close catch at slip to dismiss the other opener Kieran Powell. Shimron Hetmyer was looking good with three solid drives before he was caught at wide gully by Pujara off Kuldeep. And Shai Hope was caught by Rahane at slip off Ravindra Jadeja’s first over to leave West Indies struggling at 45/4.
After a brief stand for the fifth wicket that fetched 23 runs, Roston Chase and then injured keeper Shane Dowrich were both castled in similar fashion by Umesh Yadav. Both got an inside edge that hit the pads and crashed into the stumps.
Umesh Yadav was on a hat-trick twice on Sunday. First, when he ran into bowl the opening ball of the innings to Brathwaite and then when he bowled to Holder in the 27th over of the innings. He could not convert either, but he will take a lot of heart from his performance here on a flat track that did not offer much movement.