Jacobs' century completes the trivia of draw

India 513-9 dec West Indies 629-9 dec Match drawn
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The Independent Online

A new piece of trivia was added to the game's exhaustive list as the fourth Test meandered to an inevitable, run-filled draw here yesterday.

Ridley Jacobs' robust 118 for the West Indies followed Ajay Ratra's unbeaten 115 for India, making it the first time in the 1,602 Tests played since the first in 1877 that wicket-keepers on both sides have scored hundreds.

They were two of the five individual hundreds in a Test that yielded 1,142 runs for the return of 18 wickets on the obliging little ground where Brian Lara compiled his Test-record 375 against England in 1994 and Viv Richards smote Test cricket's fastest hundred, also against England, in 1986.

The West Indies were 629 for 9 replying to India's 513 for 9 declared when a declaration brought the contest to a merciful end. It left the series locked 1-1 with the deciding final Test starting at Sabina Park, Jamaica, on Saturday.

While Jacobs, an Antiguan, entertained the small hometown crowd with his robust hitting that brought him five sixes and 11 fours in his second Test hundred and the No 8, Merv Dillon, smashed his Test-best 43, Shivnarine Chanderpaul never changed his ultra-cautious approach in gathering his third hundred of the series.

He spent the day's five and a half hours' play painstakingly moving from 80 to 136 not out, an innings that lasted 11 and a quarter hours and 510 balls all told.

India, their attack depleted by the absence of Anil Kumble with a jaw fractured while batting in their first innings, bowled all 11 players on the lifeless pitch, taking Ratra from behind the wicket near the end for an over as the game deteriorated into absurdity that devalued the status of Test cricket.

But this was not unique. Australia, under Greg Chappell's captaincy, had given a bowl to their entire XI in a similarly drawn, high-scoring Test against Pakistan in Faisalabad in March, 1980.

The batsmen Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman had the day's only successes, claiming their first Test wickets.

Fifth day; West Indies won toss

INDIA – First innings 513 for 9 dec (V V S Laxman 130, A Ratra 115no, R Dravid 91, W Jaffer 86).

WEST INDIES – First Innings (Overnight: 405 for 5)
S Chanderpaul not out 106
R D Jacobs not out 77
M Dillon b Jaffer 43
P T Collins c Sub b Jaffer 11
A Sanford c Khan b Laxman 2
C E Cuffy not out 0
Extras (b10 lb9 w6 nb6) 31
Total (for 9 dec, 248 overs) 629

Fall: 1-65, 2-121, 3-135, 4-196, 5-382, 6-548 7-607, 8-625, 9-628.

Bowling: Srinath 45-19-82-0; Nehra 49-16-122-0; Khan 48-14-129-2; Ganguly 12-0-44-0; Tendulkar 34-4-107-2; Kumble 14-5-29-1; Laxman 17-6-32-0; Dravid 9-3-18-1; Jaffer 11-3-18-2; Das 8-2-28-0; Ratra 1-0-1-0.

Umpires: D R Shepherd (Eng) and R B Tiffin (Zim).

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