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(July 22, 2016 - Source: AFP)

India thrash the West Indies in Second Test

India thrashed the West Indies by 257 runs to win the second test in Kingston, Jamaica, and clinch the two match series.

It was a game which the visitors dominated almost from the first ball to the last, and provided a vivid illustration of the gulf in class between the two sides at the present. It was the West Indies who won the toss and opted to give a debut to off-spinner Rahkeem Gabriel who, at 6 feet six inches tall, and weighing over 140 kgs., is the heaviest man ever to play test cricket.

Things seemed initially to go well for the home side, as they reduced the visitors to 115 – 3, before Virat Kohli came to the crease. The Indian captain put on 41 for the fourth wicket, with Ajinkya Rahane, and then, when Rahane fell for 24, combined in a stand of Hanuma Vihari.

Kohli fell to 76 to the bowling of the West Indies captain Jason Holder, but Vihari went to make his maiden test century, with support from the lower order, particularly Ishant Sharma, who chipped in with a valuable 57. Vihari was the last man out for 111, as the Indian innings closed on 416 all out, midway through the second day.

The West Indies were in trouble right from the start as Jasprit Bumrah took the first five wickets to fall, including a hat-trick, as the home side slumped to 22 – 5.  Shimron Hetmyer and Holder provided some resistance with a stand of 45, but, despite some later runs from the tail, the West Indies were bowled out for 117, with Bumrah taking 6 for 27.

Instead of enforcing the follow-on, India chose to bat again, and, at one stage were 57 – 4, with Kohli dismissed for a duck. However, Rahane and man of the match Vihari put on an undefeated 111, before the visitors decided that they had enough, declaring on 168 -4, with Rahane undefeated on 64, and Vihari 53 not out.

That set the West Indies a highly improbable 467 to win, a target that the West Indies never looked like getting, especially with the fall of early wickets reducing them to 98 – 4, with an injury to Darren Bravo adding to the problems of the home side. Sharmach Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood held up matters for a while with a stand of 61, but Blackwood was caught behind off Bumrah for 38, and then Brooks was run out by Kohli for 50.

Holder hit 39 late in the innings but he was just delaying the inevitable, and he was the last man out, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, as the West indies were all out for 218.

The Indians return home after a triumphant tour of the Caribbean not having lost a match, just the weather, which forced the first ODI to be abandoned, denying them a clean sweep.

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