Cricket Sports

Heavy defeat leaves Windies with another whitewash

A sudden post-lunch collapse sent embattled West Indies to a crushing 257-run defeat to India inside four days of the second Test here Monday, leaving them with another series whitewash and without a single Test victory over the Asian side in nearly two decades.

Resuming the day at Sabina Park on 45 for two requiring a miracle to overhaul their mammoth target of 468, West Indies folded meekly in their second innings for 210, about half-hour before tea.

Shamarh Brooks, in his second Test, top-scored with exactly 50 while captain Jason Holder got 39 and Jermaine Blackwood – the Windies’ first-ever ‘concussion-sub’ stroked 38, but India’s varied attack proved clinical especially in the second session to bring a swift end to the contest with a day to spare.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (3-58) and seamer Mohammed Shami (3-65) claimed three wickets apiece while pacer Ishant Sharma picked up two for 37.

West Indies appeared to be making a fight of it when Brooks and Blackwood, playing positively against the Indian attack, took the home side to lunch on 145 for four.

But once Blackwood perished about 35 minutes after the resumption, West Indies fell apart at the seams, losing their last six wickets for just 65 runs in quick time.

The defeat meant yet another clean sweep for West Indies, after they suffered a chastening 318-run defeat also inside four days in Antigua a week-and-a-half ago, and they now have not beaten India in a Test in 17 years.

“I’m obviously disappointed. We haven’t been able to play complete cricket game in either of the last two Test matches,” skipper Jason Holder said afterwards. 

“There are still a lot of problems with the batting. We need to be able to put some scores on the board and fight through tough periods.”

West Indies suffered an early setback in the morning’s fourth over when Darren Bravo (23), resuming the day on 18, complained of feeling unwell only moments after caressing seamer Jasprit Bumrah to the cover boundary, and left the field never to return.

The left-hander had suffered a blow to the helmet from a short ball from Bumrah in the final over of Sunday’s third day, but batted out the over.

He underwent the required ICC concussion protocols on Sunday evening and Monday morning, but was cleared to resume batting.

Once leaving the field on Monday, he was checked by medical staff and once again checked for concussion, and the decision was taken to have him replaced by Blackwood under the new ICC rules.

Brooks, unbeaten on four at the start, then found an ally in Roston Chase (12) to stretch the third wicket stand to 60 and leave India without success in the first hour.

In the second over after the drinks break, however, Chase played down the wrong line to Jadeja and was lbw at 97 for three and six balls later with just one run added, left-hander Shimron Hetmyer loosely drove Ishant to Mayank Agarwal at cover.

Blackwood arrived and was quickly into his stride, and he and Brooks put on a crucial 61 for the fifth wicket which took the Windies to the first interval without further loss.

Brooks, who was caught at first slip off a Jadeja no-ball on 30 in the fifth over before lunch, faced 119 balls in just over 3-¼ hours at the crease and struck nine fours while Blackwood faced 72 ball and crunched four fours and a six – a clean hit over long on off Jadeja.

With his scoring dried up after the interval, Blackwood added just two to his lunch time 36 before eventually gifting his wicket, flirting with a wide one from Bumrah and edging behind at 159 for five.

Brooks, on 39 at lunch, completed his maiden Test fifty before becoming the second wicket to fall after the interval, run out by Virat Kohli’s direct hit from cover.

Debutant Jahmar Hamilton (0) succumbed two balls later in the same over to a catch at slip with no addition to the total at 177 for seven and the other debutant Rahkeem Cornwall perished for one in the next over, caught behind off Shami, leaving Windies on the brink.

Kemar Roach also nicked Shami behind for five and Holder, after hitting nine fours in a breezy 35-ball knock, missed a heave at Jadeja and was bowled to be last out.

West Indies failed to win a single match on tour, suffering a 3-0 clean sweep in the Twenty20 series and a 2-0 loss in the three-match one-day series.

(CMC)

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