India settled for a draw in the third and final Test against the West Indies after rock-solid century-maker Shivnarine Chanderpaul and the home bowlers gave them a fight.
Chasing 180 for victory, India finished on 94 for three, deciding to bring the match to a close with the statutory final 15 overs remaining on the last day of the inaugural Test at Windsor Park.
The result meant that the visitors won the three-Test series 1-0, following a 63-run victory inside four days in Jamaica and a draw in the second Test at Barbados.
The visitors also wrapped up their second straight Test series victory over West Indies in the Caribbean and they also became the first Indian side to win a Test and one-day series here.
“I am not too disappointed about the final result,” said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“Our team did really well throughout the series, particularly in this game.
“We decided to call it off because the gamble was quite high for us, we were risking a series win. I think we did our best, and had a go, but we then realised it was not worth it, and called it day.”
The decision to abort the run chase ended a frustrating day for India which started with the promise of a second victory in the series, but was blighted by Chanderpaul’s undefeated 116, his 23rd Test hundred.
That earned him the man-of-the-match award after he also stood firm in a valuable ninth-wicket stand of 65 with Fidel Edwards.
India were kept in the field far longer than they expected, with Chanderpaul farming the bowling, and Edwards prepared to mix sound defence with tail-ender’s bravado, as West Indies were dismissed for 322 in their second innings about 45 minutes before tea.
“We are very pleased with this result, and the way the crowd responded to us made it feel like a Twenty20 game and that we had won,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy to tumultuous roars from a crowd estimated at close to 9,000.
“It shows that when we, as a team, go out there and fight, the Caribbean people, our fans, still love us, and it was pleasing to see them turn out in their numbers over the last few days and support us.”
The visitors suffered an early setback in their hunt for victory, reaching 19 for one at tea, after Abhinav Mukund was lbw for a duck, playing back and across to the first delivery of the innings from Fidel Edwards.
After tea, a stand of 73 between Murali Vijay, whose 45 was his best innings of the series, and Rahul Dravid, not out on 34, put India on track to a stab at the target.
But Vijay was caught at mid-on, miscuing a pull at a short delivery from Ravi Rampaul who held a return catch four overs later to dismiss Suresh Raina for eight, effectively ending India’s interest.
Earlier, India required Suresh Raina, bowling his part-time off-spin, to claim the last two West Indies wickets.
Raina finished with 2-32 from 15.3 overs, but Harbhajan Singh was the most successful bowler for the visitors with 4-75 from 42 overs.
Chanderpaul made the occasion of his record 133rd appearance extra special, becoming the second century-maker in the West Indies second innings, following Kirk Edwards’ maiden hundred of 110 on debut the previous day.
The veteran left-hander tucked a short, rising delivery from Ishant Sharma, later named man-of-the-series for his 23 wickets, through backward square leg for two to reach the milestone from 265 balls.
He and Edwards, whose 30 was a career-best, frustrated India for over three hours either side of lunch after West Indies slid to 256 for eight.