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India claim historic series win over WI

India claim historic series win over WI


KINGSTON, Jamaica – India, inspired by a six-wicket haul from leg-spinner Anil Kumble, achieved their first test series win in the Caribbean in 35 years after completing victory by 49 runs over West Indies, with two days to spare, on the third day of the fourth and final Digicel Test at Sabina Park on Sunday.

Set 269 to win, West Indies were dismissed for 219 with 1.2 overs remaining. They were undone by a combination of the leg-spin of Kumble and the pace of Shantha Sreesanth.{{more}}

Wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin raised hopes of an unlikely West Indies victory with an impressive unbeaten 62 after entering the fray at 128 for six, but Kumble grabbed the last four wickets – three lbw’s – to trigger celebrations among Indian players and fans.

Kumble, the main destroyer, finished with six for 78 off 22.4 overs, while Sreesanth, who created the early problems for West Indies, took three for 38 in 15 overs.

The win gave India a 1-0 series win following draws at the Antigua Recreation Ground, Beausejour Stadium and Warner Park, and earned them their first series triumph in the Caribbean since 1971.

Apart from Ramdin, the only other major West Indies resistance came from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo.

Sarwan hit a solid 51 and featured in a sixth wicket partnership of 70 with Dwayne Bravo, who made 33.

West Indies started their chase on the wrong note, losing Chris Gayle for his second duck of the match when he edged a catch to second slip off Sreesanth to the second ball of the innings.

From their lunch time position of 18 for one, West Indies added 67 runs in the pre-tea session, but Sreesanth claimed his second wicket in the fourth over after the break when Daren Ganga was bowled for 16 by a ball of fullish length that swung in.

In the next over, Patel snatched the important wicket of Brian Lara, trapping the West Indies captain lbw on the back foot for 11.

Earlier, India, resuming their second innings on 128 for six, were dismissed for 171.

Fast bowler Collymore took three of the last four wickets to finish with five for 48 off 24.1 overs, while fellow pacer Taylor took four for 45 in 15 overs.

It was Collymore’s fourth haul of five or more than five wickets in a test innings and his third on the ground following his seven for 57 against Sri Lanka in 2003 and seven for 78 against Pakistan last year. He grabbed the key wicket of Rahul Dravid for 68 with a ball that kept low and sneaked through to bowl the India captain.

Dravid’s responsible innings occupied four and a half hours in which he faced 166 balls and struck 12 fours. It carried his aggregate in the series to 496 and he was named Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series.