Former West Indies skipper Sir Viv Richards has heaped lavish praise on the West Indies batsmen after their  inspirational batting helped the hosts to save the second Test against India at Jamaica. West Indies were on the backfoot for the first four days of the match but fought bravely on the final day to keep their hopes of winning the series alive.

After being dismissed for a paltry 196 runs in the first innings, the hosts conceded a mammoth 500 to trail the visitors by a huge 304 runs after the first innings. Their hopes of saving the match were looking bleak after they lost 4 wickets for only 48 runs by the end of fourth day’s play. But riding on Roston Chase’s unbeaten 137 and half-centuries from Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich  and skipper Jason Holder, the hosts ended the final day at 388 for six to secure a spirited draw against all odds.

“This is a marvelous performance from this young team. I am really proud of them,” Richards was quoted as saying by the WICB’s official website. “They really stood up to the challenge and we should be proud of this kind of performance. They did not win the Test match but if we can see more efforts like this I am sure this team is on the way to very good things.
“They applied themselves and were rewarded. This should be great for them and it shows that they can play at this level. This has lifted the series and I hope it lifts this team as well. There is talent, there is a fight and there is a character in that West Indies dressing and we saw it here today.”

The former skipper also advised Chase to build on his brilliant performance. Playing only his second Test, the all-rounder became the first West Indies player since Garry Sobers in 1966 to score a century and take a five-wicket haul in the same Test.

“My advice to him is keep believing in [himself]. He’s off to a tremendous start in his Test career – with a terrific five-wicket haul and then a significant century like this which saved the match,” said Richards.

“He’s now being mentioned and respected, where this is concerned with making a ton and taking a five-for. So I urge him and the team to keep growing and keep believing in themselves.”

The penultimate match of the series will be played at Gros Islet from August 9.

    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan. You will never walk alone.

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