Roston Chase joined elite company as West Indies escaped with an unlikely draw against India after the second test concluded in Jamaica on Wednesday.
Chase scored 137 not out to lead West Indies to safety, with the home team losing only two wickets on the fifth and final day at Sabina Park in Kingston.
West Indies had reached 388 for six in their second innings when India captain Virat Kohli conceded a draw with a few overs still remaining.
If not quite qualifying as a miracle, the result was certainly unexpected after the Windies began the final day staring down the barrel of defeat, precariously placed on 48 for four and still needing another 256 to make India bat again.
Even though rain washed out most of day four, it seemed a formality for India to quickly wrap up victory and take a 2-0 lead in the four-test series, but West Indies batsmen dominated from the very first over as Chase and his fellow middle-order batsman displayed assurance and more than a touch of class.
Their performances will give Caribbean cricket fans hope that their team has a future in the five-day format.
Chase, in just his second test, took 5-121 with his off-spin in the India innings, before showing his class with the bat.
He became just the fourth West Indies player to score a century and take five wickets in the same test, and the first to do so in 50 years.
Gary Sobers, the only player to accomplish the feat twice, last achieved that double in 1966.
The small crowd erupted in rapturous applause when Chase completed his century and raised his bat in celebration, with nobody clapping louder than Viv Richards.
Chase received excellent support from fellow 24-year-olds Jermaine Blackwood (63) and Shane Dowrich (74), who was unfortunate to be given out lbw to Amit Mishra, with replays showing he appeared to get a thick inside.
Blackwood displayed excellent technique with a series of classic straight drives that offered evidence of why he kept his place in the team despite a pair in the first test.
He smashed two sixes and nine fours in a 54-ball knock as he dominated a brisk fifth-wicket stand of 93 with Chase until he was superbly caught by a diving Cheteshwar Pujara, via bat-pad, off the spin bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.
Chase then shared in a sixth-wicket partnership of 144 with Dowrich, who departed with the result still very much in the balance.
Captain Jason Holder, the fast-bowling all-rounder who knows how to wield a bat coming in at number eight, teamed up with Chase to assure the draw.
The pair put on 103, Holder bringing up his 50 in style by hoisting Ashwin over long-off for six. He was 64 not out at the close.
The rearguard action had statisticians searching through the record books, revealing it to be the first time ever that West Indies batsmen at five, six, seven and eight had each scored a half-century in the same innings.
West Indies' crushing defeat in the series opener in Antigua, by an innings and 92 runs, meant the hosts had lost seven out of eight tests while drawing the other game.
But the series suddenly has new life going into the third test to be played at Gros Islet on the island of Saint Lucia from Aug. 9-13.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ed Osmond and Mark Lamport-Stokes)
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Published Date: Aug 03, 2016 21:52 PM | Updated Date: Aug 03, 2016 21:52 PM