Rain ruins India’s plans as visitors settle for 1-0 series win


PTI, Jul 25, 2023, 8:24 AM IST

Port of Spain: An Indian team in transition will feel robbed of an opportunity as torrential rain came in its way of potentially winning the second Test against West Indies and completing a 2-0 series whitewash here on Monday.

Eyeing a clean sweep after their victory inside three days in Dominica, India called the shots here too and set the hosts an imposing target of 365.

But the match ended in a draw after the fifth and final day’s play was washed out.

Having taken two wickets to leave the beleaguered West Indies trailing by 289 runs by the end of the fourth day’s play, the Indians would have certainly fancied their chances of emerging victorious and grabbing a full 24 points in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 cycle.

But that was not to be, thanks to the heavy downpour as India concluded their Test campaign with no further gains.

The main cover was taken off after losing nearly two and half hours of play, as dark clouds gave way to clear blue skies.

The game was first supposed to start at 13.15 local time, more than four hours later than the scheduled 9 am start, but the rain returned just as the groundsmen were getting the playing arena match ready.

It was well past the resumption time when the rain relented, once again raising hopes of some action on the field of play.

The covers were taken off again, as the duo of Tagenarine Chanderpaul (24 batting) and Jermaine Blackwood (20) padded up to resume the West Indies second innings at their overnight score of 76 for two.

But the covers were back again as a massive cloud hovered over the Queen’s Park Oval, leaving those hoping to see cricket and those looking to get the game going, frustrated.

It stopped for a brief while, only to come back with greater force, putting to rest all hopes of play resuming. Puddles of water had again formed on the covers, and the grass was also very damp.

The hosts had lost skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk McKenzie on the fourth evening, leaving the task of leading their revival to Chanderpaul and Blackwood.

In the end, they were not required to come out trying to save a Test match on a fifth-day pitch, which, though, hardly had any demons.

The equation was simple for Rohit’s men. India needed to bowl out the West Indies on the final day to earn the maximum points (12) and percentage of points (100) from the match. A total of 12 points are awarded per match to all teams who win a Test in the WTC.

As per the points distribution, the visitors could manage only four points as the match ended in a draw. In the event of a tie in the WTC cycle, the 12 points are equally shared by the two teams.

All teams are ranked on the percentage of points won in the WTC.

Thanks to their win in the first Test, India bagged 12 points to occupy the top spot in the pecking order. That victory paved the way for India’s fifth successive series in the Caribbean, but the 1-0 verdict is not the result the visitors had come here for considering the difficult assignments that await them.

India have two away tours to South Africa and reigning world WTC champions Australia lined up, besides a home series against a formidable England.

India ended the series against the West Indies with 16 points and 66 percentage points.

It is worth mentioning that the last time these two sides met at the same ground was in 2016, and only 22 overs were possible due to relentless rain.

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