On This Day in 2011: R Ashwin’s Run-out Helps West Indies Clinch Dramatic Last-ball Draw Against India

Prior to the start of the West Indies tour of India in the winter of 2011, several cricket pundits had predicted the hosts to win the three-match Test series, largely owning to the home soil advantage. The script of the tournament looked all too similar during the first two games of the series. However, no one could have foreseen what happened on the last day of the third Test match. Yes, the draw was the predictable result at the start of the fifth day of the Wankhede Test. But instead of a boring draw, the viewers witnessed the most extraordinary day of red-ball cricket with the match ending in a tie.

It must be mentioned that it was only the second time in the history of Test cricket when a match ended in a draw with the score on level.

Spin wizard of India Ravichandra Ashwin was awarded the player of the match as well as the player of the series award but he was not the player of the moment for the hosts when they needed just two runs off the last ball to win the final Test. He did run a single on the last ball to tie the score but was not quick enough for the second run, which could have sealed the win as well as helped in recording a clean sweep for India.

West Indies’ Fidel Edwards, who was known for securing nail-biting draws for his side with the bat, once again did the job for his team but this time with the ball.

Batting first, West Indies posted a mammoth total of 590 runs for the loss of ten wickets in their first innings. In reply, India huffed and puffed their way to 482 runs for the loss of ten wickets, courtesy of a magnificent hundred from Ashwin.

Unlike their first innings, West Indies had a horrendous outing with the bat during their second innings as they were bowled out for 134 runs, giving India a 243 runs target to win the match.

India’s start in the second innings was not great as they lost Gautam Gambhir in the fifth over of the match. After that, Virender Sehwag scored a fine fifty to set the pace for India. Virat Kohli also scored a brilliant fifty while batting at six to keep the home side’s pursuit on course.

Towards the end, India took complete control of the match as they needed 42 runs in ten overs to win the match. At the time, it did not look like a tough battle with Kohli and Ashwin at the crease.

However, within the span of four overs, everything changed after Kohli was caught at the gully off Devendra Bishoo’s bowling, putting Ashwin in the spotlight. For the next five overs, Ashwin looked in remarkable control as he tried to guide India to a tense win. Ashwin added 15 runs with Ishant Sharma before the pacer was sent back to the pavilion on the last bowl of the penultimate over.

With three needed off the last ball of the final over, Edwards bowled with a packed in-field. The debutant Varun Aaron was not able to score a single run off the three balls of the over. On the fourth ball, he took a single to rotate the strike with Ashwin and the next ball of the over was yet another dot ball.

Ashwin hit the last ball of the over towards long-on but was not able to complete two runs as the match ended in a draw.

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