West Indies struggle in a drawn match
West Indians 302 (Chanderpaul 59, Samuels 50, Wise 3-47) drew with Victoria 571 (Hodge 177, Hussey 104, White 63, Smith 3-50)
The West Indians were bowled out for 302 on the final day of the three-day match against Victoria at the Junction Oval in Melbourne. With only a session left to play, both sides agreed to a draw and chose to play a Twenty20 match to entertain the crowd.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Smith, the overnight batsmen, pushed the score past 200 after the West Indians started the day on 4 for 144. Smith fell to Cameron White, the Victoria captain, but not before he had turned in a good all-round performance in the match, scoring 40 after taking three wickets in the Victoria innings of 571.
While soft dismissals and reckless belligerence prevailed on day two, the West Indians put their heads down today and chose to spend some valuable time in the middle. Chanderpaul, the West Indian captain, spent over four hours and faced 177 balls to eke out 59. He added 42 for the fifth-wicket with Dwayne Bravo (25) in nearly 20 overs before Bravo fell lbw to the left-arm fast bowler Allan Wise. Wise then induced Denesh Ramdin to edge behind to Adam Crosthwaite for 5.
Chanderpaul and Tino Best took their side to lunch at 7 for 255 but Chanderpaul didn't last long after the interval, falling to the swing of Mick Lewis. He faced just one delivery less than Brad Hodge had faced in scoring 177. Best, who went wicketless and leaked 132 runs, hung on for 105 minutes for 16 before falling to Jonathan Moss. David Hussey ended the dogged late-order resistance put up by Fidel Edwards and Jermaine Lawson to wrap up the innings.
Chanderpaul has urged the batsmen to follow his lead from the match and take a more conservative approach in the second Test. "We came off a one-day tournament [before this tour] and you have to get the balance right and put your head down and bat instead of playing all these shots that can get you out," he said. "They can get you runs also, but a Test match is five days, a long game, and you want to be showing some patience out there.
"We've played two games, one before the Test match and the Test match, and not much happened for me and some of the other guys, and this is one of those games where you want to spend time in the middle and it has done some good for us." Despite Chanderpaul's efforts it was another disappointing show by the West Indians. The bowlers looked listless and were plundered by the Victoria batsmen and their top order played careless shots.