India-Windies match ends in a sensational draw

Mumbai: Spinners Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin plotted a dramatic West Indies batting collapse as India very nearly pulled off a sensational win before the visitors pegged them back to a nerve-wracking last-ball draw in the third and final cricket Test here today.

After the hosts conceded a 108-run first innings lead, Ojha (6/47) and Ashwin (4/34) ripped through the batting order to bundle out West Indies for a paltry 134 in the second innings, leaving the hosts a target of 243 off 64 overs on a tricky fifth-day track.

The Indians relied on a breezy start from Virender Sehwag (60 off 65 balls) but faced a few anxious moments in the dying moments before being dramatically stopped at 242 for nine in the last over and had to be be content with a 2-0 series triumph.

It was a combination of some atrocious batting by the inexperienced West Indies batsmen and some superb bowling by the Indian spinners that brought the drab Test, which seemed headed for a tame draw till Friday, to life.

Resuming at the overnight score of 81 for two, the visitors completely lost the plot on a Wankhede track which gave some assistance to the spinners as they lost eight wickets for a mere 53 runs in the action-packed pre-lunch session.

The Indian tailenders lacked the finishing firepower to overhaul the target in the thrilling chase with young Virat Kohli (63) playing a stellar role. Rahul Dravid (33) and VVS Laxman (31) were the other notable scorers.

The Indians needed three runs in Fidel Edwards last over but Varun Aaron consumed three balls without scoring a run. In the last ball, the hosts needed two runs and Ashwin could manage just a single before being run out.

"At the same time, we feel proud of our jawans and commandos who risk their life to provide security to us. I once attended a one-day training session of NSG commandos. I was really surprised by the kind of preparation that goes into getting them battle ready. We really feel embarrassed when they call us their `heroes`."

"I think we are only sport heroes but the real life heroes are those people. It is really impossible to describe their deeds in words. Yeah, but we feel happy and satisfied when we come to know that they like to watch us play," he added.