Roston Chase accomplished an all-round feat last achieved by cricketing great Gary Sobers as West Indies escaped with an stunning draw against India in the second test in Jamaica on Wednesday.
After taking 5-121 with his off-spin earlier in the match, Chase scored an authoritative 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.
In just his second test, the 24-year-old from Barbados 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.
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 retired batting great Viv Richards.
“It’s a great feeling I could help draw the test match for my team after we were behind the eight-ball by a long way,” the softly-spoken Chase said after being named man of the match.
“My aim is to be equally capable both batting and bowling but I prefer batting more.”
Chase was ably supported by fellow 24-year-olds Jermaine Blackwood (63) and Shane Dowrich (74), as the middle-order came to the rescue following a top-order collapse on Tuesday.
Their performances will give long-suffering Caribbean cricket fans hope that their team, world champions in the short Twenty20 version of the game, also has a future in the traditional five-day format.