INDIA TOUR OF WEST INDIES, 2019
Bumrah picked up his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests. © AFP
Jasprit Bumrah stunned West Indies with a spectacular spell of fast bowling to dismantle the hosts at Sabina Park in Jamaica. Bumrah became just the third Indian to have a hat-trick as he rattled the West Indies batting line-up reducing them to 22 for 5, with his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests, that came in just six overs on Saturday (August 31). West Indies, however, staged a brief fightback led by Jason Holder and Shimron Hetmyer, but stuttered eventually to 87 for 7 before stumps were drawn, trailing by 329 runs.
Bumrah continued from where he left off in Antigua and was unplayable from the onset as West Indies’ batsmen struggled against him. He got the ball to move both ways early on at a pace that the West Indian batsmen couldn’t counter. It all began in the sixth over when an outswinger had John Campbell rooted deep in the crease to outside-edge to Rishabh Pant. Darren Bravo also fell to a similar delivery, edging to second slip. If the pair were undone by outswingers in this Test, Bumrah had had the pair in similar fashion to inswingers in the first. Shamarh Brooks was given out leg-before next ball after being beaten for pace as the ball crashed into his pads. A review was wasted when Brooks reviewed the call. Three reds and Bumrah was on a hat-trick.
He wouldn’t have gotten his hat-trick had it not been for skipper Virat Kohli. It was a big inswinger where Roston Chase was beaten for pace, but the bowler wasn’t convinced that the ball had hit the pad before bat. However, Kohli thought otherwise and reviewed the call. Three reds and Bumrah became the third Indian to pick up a Test hat-trick after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan, with figures reading 4-1-4-4. Soon after, Kraigg Brathwaite was forced into the drive to end up edging to the ‘keeper, and Bumrah had another five-wicket haul, with mindblowing figures reading 14.5-17-10 when combined with his second innings figures from Antigua in the second dig.
Bumrah was down on the ground soon after and left the ground briefly with what seemed like cramps on his left calf, but returned eventually. Mohammed Shami was denied of a wicket when Kohli put down Shimron Hetmyer, who rode his luck thereafter. He was quite aggressive against Ravindra Jadeja and took his chances to stitch a valuable stand of 45 with skipper Jason Holder to weather the storm. However, after a few overs of plays and misses and Hetmyer looking all over the place, he went for the expansive drive to one that came in as he misread the line and length to have his middle stump knocked over for 35, much to the disappointment of skipper Holder at the other end. Holder, however, seemed solid at the other end despite losing partners, until Bumrah returned to undo all the hardwork with a short ball that the skipper went after to balloon it to cover for 18. Rahkeem Cornwall remained solid in defence resisting Bumrah and Jadeja before stumps were drawn.
Earlier, Hanuma Vihari frustrated West Indies with his maiden Test century, along with Ishant Sharma who got his career-best Test score of 57, as India piled on the runs in the second session before they were bowled out for 416. Vihari was unbeaten on 84 when Lunch was taken and went through a session of lull soon after play resumed. But despite that, India got off to a brisk start with Ishant keeping him able company as the pair added 112 for the eighth wicket. Ishant’s enterprising 80-ball 57 comprised of seven boundaries. It wasn’t an easy pitch to bat on, but Ishant was resilient in his approach and played a vital role in Vihari maintaining his composure to get to his landmark.
Ishant, though, was lucky to escape two run-out chances early on in his innings that West Indies failed to take and made them pay in the end, keeping the scoreboard ticking after Lunch when Vihari was entrapped for a bit. Vihari eventually got to the landmark with a boundary, and Ishant paid the price for being a tad bit ambitious after his fifty. India didn’t last long after as Rahkeem Cornwell got Mohammed Shami and Holder, Vihari, picking up his third successive five-wicket haul in Jamaica.
Holder bowled a beautiful incoming delivery that straightened just enough out to rattle the stumps on the opening delivery of the day. Pant pushed at it, but the ball snuck through the massive gap between bat and pad to rattle the stumps. Vihari, however, remained as composed as ever. He was patient, showed great judgment letting deliveries go through, had no qualms in doing so, and hung in there to frustrate the West Indies.
Holder bowled excellent lengths, but wasn’t shy to try new things. He changed his lines regularly, rotated his bowlers and was experimental with his field placings. Kemar Roach was once again posing questions, but Vihari and Jadeja kept him at bay. The pair added 38 runs for the seventh wicket before Rahkeem Cornwall was rewarded for his patience. Off a ball that got some extra bounce, Jadeja’s slog-sweep attempt went wrong as he top-edged to Darren Bravo at mid-on for an easy catch.
Vihari then struck three boundaries off Cornwall’s next over, after a really tough chance at slip was put down, to get a move on. Holder was denied Vihari’s wicket because of the smart use of DRS after having trapped him leg-before that was adjudged out by the on-field umpire. But he eventually, accounted for him for 111 in the end.
Brief scores: India (Mayank Agarwal 55, Virat Kohli 76, Hanuma Vihari 111, Ishant Sharma 57; Jason Holder 5-77 lead West Indies 87/7 (Shimron Hetmyer 34; Jasprit Bumrah 6-16) by 329 runs.