West Indies v Australia, 1st Test, Bridgetown, 4th day April 10, 2012

Australia turn tables on wobbly West Indies

95

West Indies 449 for 9 dec and 71 for 5 (Hilfenhaus 3-17) lead Australia 406 for 9 dec (Clarke 73, Harris 68*, Roach 3-72) by 114 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

How quickly this game can change. West Indies started the fourth day searching for a way to turn their dominance into a victory. They ended it hoping to avoid defeat. In between, Ryan Harris led an outstanding tail-end fightback from Australia that allowed Michael Clarke to make a bold declaration from behind, a decision that was justified when Ben Hilfenhaus scythed through the top three West Indies batsmen in the first five overs of their second innings.

As tea approached, it was hard to tell who was wobblier, the West Indies batsmen or the rummies in Kensington Oval's Party Stand. At least the spectators had an excuse for their lack of stability. Clarke's declaration gave West Indies half an hour to bat before the break and when it arrived they were 4 for 3. Australia's last three pairs had just added 156 runs between them. It was about as disastrous a period as West Indies could have endured.

In a few crazy hours, all the hard work the hosts had done over the first three days evaporated. By stumps, they had steadied a little, but only a little, and they finished the day at 71 for 5, with Narsingh Deonarine on 20 and Carlton Baugh on 2. It meant West Indies held a slim lead of 114 runs and with only five wickets in hand, they still needed a solid batting performance on the fifth morning to prevent the Australians chasing a small target.

The pitch had started to show some variable bounce but after the way their tail-enders batted, Australia would fancy their chances of chasing a target of around 200. For West Indies, much rested on the shoulders of Deonarine, a man with a point to prove after he was told by the coach Ottis Gibson he was on probation having been recalled to the side for the first time in nearly two years.

Deonarine had helped West Indies recover with a 50-run stand that ended shortly before stumps when Darren Bravo (32) edged behind off Peter Siddle. It was just the breakthrough the Australians wanted after Hilfenhaus ripped through the top order and Harris nicked out Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who had clung on like a barnacle in the first innings but managed only 12 in the second.

West Indies were 17 for 4 when Chanderpaul was done by a good ball that moved away fractionally off the seam. Hilfenhaus had also found just enough movement to trouble Adrian Barath, who was the first to fall when he was bowled by a ball that shaped to swing away and then straightened back between bat and pad.

Two balls later, Kraigg Brathwaite feathered behind playing an uncharacteristically aggressive stroke and his edge was so thin that the umpire Ian Gould did not appear likely to give him out, but the batsman walked. In his next over, Hilfenhaus trapped Kirk Edwards lbw and a review of Gould's decision could not save the batsman, and Clarke's decision to declare 43 runs in arrears was looking inspired.

The Australian lower order had provided major frustrations for West Indies, especially Harris, who finished unbeaten on 68, and the No.11 Nathan Lyon, who remained not out on 40. They had put on 77 for the final wicket and could have batted on further, but Clarke wasn't convinced a draw was the best outcome Australia could manage.

Australia added 40 runs after lunch and the innings was nearly brought to an end with the score at 391 when Harris was given out lbw to Fidel Edwards for 66. But with a review up his sleeve, Harris asked for the third umpire to check Gould's on-field decision and the replay showed the ball would have sailed over the top of the stumps.

There were precious few other opportunities for West Indies as their heads bowed and shoulders slumped during the final partnership, the second-highest tenth-wicket stand ever by an Australian pair against West Indies. Things had started perfectly for West Indies as they took the new ball in the first over of the day and quickly had Michael Hussey back in the dressing room having added only one to his overnight score.

Hussey pushed forward at a Kemar Roach delivery that angled across him and his edge was well taken by Carlton Baugh low to his left. Siddle followed for 0 when he ducked a shortish delivery from Fidel Edwards and gloved a catch to gully, and Australia were 250 for 7. Matthew Wade and Harris added 35 for the eighth wicket and both men played some promising shots but Wade's patience eventually deserted him and he drove expansively at Edwards and edged to slip for 28 from 97 deliveries.

Hilfenhaus provided some entertainment with five boundaries in his 24, an innings that ended when he tried to whack Roach over midwicket and lost his middle stump. But it wasn't the end for the Australian lower order as Harris and Lyon's partnership reached 37 at lunch, both men having played some impressive strokes and they were particularly good at driving when the bowlers overpitched.

Harris struck seven boundaries and brought up his half-century from his 76th ball with a clip through midwicket, and his determination was evident in his celebration as he gritted his teeth and settled in for some more batting. Lyon also played some strong drives and brought up his highest first-class score.

Clarke denied him the chance of scoring a half-century, but it was the furthest thing from the captain's mind as he sought a way to win the match. By stumps, victory had become a much more realistic proposition.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 11, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    For a neutral TEAM PAKISTAN supporter this is turning out to be a good test match. I have always admired the way Australia play their cricket and in my opinion they are back in the game and should go on to win the test. Unfortunately this is not a very goo

  • on April 11, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    The demon that haunts WI was asleep, but woke up on day 4, and was at his best. Poor captaincy tatics, allowed the tail of Australia to wagg on and on, soon the WI team lost their courage, and it showed up in their batting 2nd time round. When will they ever put 2 good performance together with the bat in the same match? Again, it is obvious there is need for a captain and a coach.

  • on April 11, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    C'mon Windies, surely all that hard work can't come to nought?

  • InnocentGuy on April 11, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    THIS, is why Test cricket is awesome!! It's like a game of chess - boring and time consuming to some eyes, but really it's a classic game of wits and skill. Oh man, the excitement! I can't wait to watch the 5th day unfold.

  • rsgarcia on April 11, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    As an avid Windies fan, I would like commenters who aren't from the West Indies to stop calling for the heads of Gibson and Sammy, and for the inclusion of Gayle, Taylor and Sarwan. You don't know that of which you speak. Taylor was called up for Jamaica and never showed. Sarwan and Gayle have been disinterested in our cricket for ages and the team has been doing better than it has in years with them out of the lineup and with Gibson and Sammy in charge. I'd rather see them doing well than pin my hopes on players who have proven again and again they can't positively affect a series outcome. Go Windies! As a Trini, am I proud that I have long been a Sammy supporter. Let them all see what I saw since your first tour of England.

  • rsgarcia on April 11, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    I know there are a lot of Aussie fans crowing about the last couple of passages of play and praising their fighting spirit. I just want to add that Windies showed a lot of spirit too to not just give in after a nightmare start. I still think that a target of more than 200-250 is too much for any Aussie batting side on this pitch, especially if Windies manage to stay in till after lunch. That 43 runs becomes even more valuable given the wickets we lost. Neither team managed to bowl out the other in the first innings. A draw is most likely, but anything can happen in this game. Either way, I'm a Windies fan to the end and proud of it. At least my team didn't just lay down and get rolled for 47 or 51 as some world number one's have recently ;-).

  • mgsub on April 11, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Oh the poor Windies can't buy a break. Interesting move on Clarke's part to declare while behind. If Oz removes the rest of the batsmen this morning, then they win. If Windies can hold out to after the lunch break, we're looking at a draw. Compelling stuff in a game that looked like a sure-thing draw can now have a decision.

  • TheLight on April 11, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    extremely poor captaincy from Sammy..............horrible bowling rotations and field settings allowed Aus to score over 400 and put WI under pressure.

  • Tumbarumbar on April 11, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    RandyOz - Why the big push for Kwaj at the moment? He deserved his chance when he was selected and I agree he wasn't given the same opportunity to fail as Marsh but he really did have a poor first class season. Guys who have been dropped in the past like Punter, Clarke, both Waughs, Hayden, Martyn and Langer simply went back and over time made so many runs they had to be picked. If you cast your mind back Ponting made an 80 odd the first test he played at three, missed out in the next test and was dropped. He subsequently made so many runs he was picked again. Kwaj hasn't done that and unfortunately he doesn't have secondary skills that might make him a great tourist, he isn't an outstanding fielder, isn't a change bowler and unlike someone like say Mike Veletta in the past isn't a useful backup keeper.

  • on April 11, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    We could be in for another classic Test finish. Australia need the last 5 wickets for no more than 100 runs to have a serious chance. The pitch has started to show some variable bounce so anything over 175 will be a real Test. Love this down to the wire stuff! Long live Test cricket!

  • on April 11, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    For a neutral TEAM PAKISTAN supporter this is turning out to be a good test match. I have always admired the way Australia play their cricket and in my opinion they are back in the game and should go on to win the test. Unfortunately this is not a very goo

  • on April 11, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    The demon that haunts WI was asleep, but woke up on day 4, and was at his best. Poor captaincy tatics, allowed the tail of Australia to wagg on and on, soon the WI team lost their courage, and it showed up in their batting 2nd time round. When will they ever put 2 good performance together with the bat in the same match? Again, it is obvious there is need for a captain and a coach.

  • on April 11, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    C'mon Windies, surely all that hard work can't come to nought?

  • InnocentGuy on April 11, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    THIS, is why Test cricket is awesome!! It's like a game of chess - boring and time consuming to some eyes, but really it's a classic game of wits and skill. Oh man, the excitement! I can't wait to watch the 5th day unfold.

  • rsgarcia on April 11, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    As an avid Windies fan, I would like commenters who aren't from the West Indies to stop calling for the heads of Gibson and Sammy, and for the inclusion of Gayle, Taylor and Sarwan. You don't know that of which you speak. Taylor was called up for Jamaica and never showed. Sarwan and Gayle have been disinterested in our cricket for ages and the team has been doing better than it has in years with them out of the lineup and with Gibson and Sammy in charge. I'd rather see them doing well than pin my hopes on players who have proven again and again they can't positively affect a series outcome. Go Windies! As a Trini, am I proud that I have long been a Sammy supporter. Let them all see what I saw since your first tour of England.

  • rsgarcia on April 11, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    I know there are a lot of Aussie fans crowing about the last couple of passages of play and praising their fighting spirit. I just want to add that Windies showed a lot of spirit too to not just give in after a nightmare start. I still think that a target of more than 200-250 is too much for any Aussie batting side on this pitch, especially if Windies manage to stay in till after lunch. That 43 runs becomes even more valuable given the wickets we lost. Neither team managed to bowl out the other in the first innings. A draw is most likely, but anything can happen in this game. Either way, I'm a Windies fan to the end and proud of it. At least my team didn't just lay down and get rolled for 47 or 51 as some world number one's have recently ;-).

  • mgsub on April 11, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Oh the poor Windies can't buy a break. Interesting move on Clarke's part to declare while behind. If Oz removes the rest of the batsmen this morning, then they win. If Windies can hold out to after the lunch break, we're looking at a draw. Compelling stuff in a game that looked like a sure-thing draw can now have a decision.

  • TheLight on April 11, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    extremely poor captaincy from Sammy..............horrible bowling rotations and field settings allowed Aus to score over 400 and put WI under pressure.

  • Tumbarumbar on April 11, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    RandyOz - Why the big push for Kwaj at the moment? He deserved his chance when he was selected and I agree he wasn't given the same opportunity to fail as Marsh but he really did have a poor first class season. Guys who have been dropped in the past like Punter, Clarke, both Waughs, Hayden, Martyn and Langer simply went back and over time made so many runs they had to be picked. If you cast your mind back Ponting made an 80 odd the first test he played at three, missed out in the next test and was dropped. He subsequently made so many runs he was picked again. Kwaj hasn't done that and unfortunately he doesn't have secondary skills that might make him a great tourist, he isn't an outstanding fielder, isn't a change bowler and unlike someone like say Mike Veletta in the past isn't a useful backup keeper.

  • on April 11, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    We could be in for another classic Test finish. Australia need the last 5 wickets for no more than 100 runs to have a serious chance. The pitch has started to show some variable bounce so anything over 175 will be a real Test. Love this down to the wire stuff! Long live Test cricket!

  • Wefinishthis on April 11, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    murfa22 I was of course joking, perhaps you missed the tongue-in-cheek :P at the end of my comment. Like RandyOZ I too have been a Clarke critic for the past 3 years, however I stopped after his South African innings which I believe was his best ever innings because it was against some brilliant bowling on a difficult wicket. Since that innings he has really become one of the top batsmen in world cricket (after Kallis, Trott, Cook, Amla, Sanga and Jayawardene though), but he really is quite a brilliant captain to be getting results out of the less-than-world-class Hilfenhaus and Siddle. Our batting lineup is ok, but I think Cowan should temporarily be dropped for D.Hussey if he continues with these low scores for much longer.

  • Digimont on April 11, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    @RandyOz - I usually agree with most you have to say, but if Khawaja makes it back to the test team it will only be because the encumbents have all failed and it is his turn (through lack of a better option) to have another crack. He isn't knocking the door down and I fear that he never will. I don't think he would stay long in the side should he make it back. I think it is a level too far for him - I'd call him another Siddons, but he's not that good either.

  • rbj1112 on April 11, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    great game...people should stop bashing players and coaches and selectors and others...these guys are doing the best they can how they know they can....if you could do better then you should of tried to be in thier position....

  • on April 11, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    For a neutral TEAM PAKISTAN supporter this is turning out to be a good test match. I have always admired the way Australia play their cricket and in my opinion they are back in the game and should go on to win the test. Unfortunately this is not a very good West Indian team and I cannot see their bowlers stopping Aussies winning.

  • Lozzanova on April 11, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Why do sydneysiders like RandyOZ and others keep trying to shoehorn Khawaja back into the side? He's had a couple of goes at test level and failed and his state form at the moment is not up to scratch.

    We had the Hilditch era of picking every New South Welshmen going and that was a failure. The post-Argus selectors now are doing great things and the team is on the up. Khawaja may well get his chance again one day, but now is not the time.

  • jmcilhinney on April 11, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    I hope that WI make a decent fist of the rest of this second innings but, while anything's possible, it's hard to see them batting long enough and scoring enough runs to put the game beyond Australia's reach. I think WI's best chance is to get to at least lunch and post a target of at least 200 and then hope that they can bowl out of their skins and Australia perish trying to push the run rate. Not that 3.5 an over is too excessive and I'm not sure that there are many demons in the pitch. It's a chance for Bishoo to really make a name for himself though. I think the most likely scenario is WI all out some time in the second hour and Australia knocking off the sub-200 target in the last hour of the day with about 5 down.

  • jmcilhinney on April 11, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    @RandyOZ, still keen on Khawaja I see. I notice that you haven't replied to my earlier comment quoting your apparent demand to have him axed before the India Test series. Do you consider 25 in a tour match on what was, if I recall correctly, a fairly placid pitch, to be a worthy performance? I'm sure you'd have something disparaging to say if an England player scored the same.

  • ttyX on April 11, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    I'm still doubtful of a victory for Australia but I'd be more than pleased to be proved wrong...

  • on April 11, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    What a great moment for test cricket. To declare with a deficit, big time gamble, and with some luck can pay off. This stuff is not for the faint heart. I will not blame WI, life is such. WI will now have to show the Aussies that they 2 have the fighting spirit. This is why test cricket supersedes all other formats of the game. It is the closest sport to life. There r few predictable things in life & cricket. Can we pull it off? Of course we can. We have a trump, & that trump is Sammy, Sammy will rather die than give the Aussies this match. Someone will have to stay with him. My bet a draw, what's yours?

  • dsig3 on April 11, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Great to see this sort of stuff. Always hard to chase a target batting last but the momentum is well and truly with Aus now. The only problem is our own batting is not working too well. Cant expect the tail enders to keep scoring runs or we will lose 4 in a row like England.

  • on April 11, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    The match is not over yet until the winning run is scored or the last wicket is taken. If WI can get to a total 200 by on or befor lunch the W I bowlers can repeat what Hilfy ans Siddle did.

    Come on WI, it is up to you to win or save this game.

    As for Otis, you will never learn or change. Open your eyes. The youngsters are not quite ready. Gayle and Sarwan still has a lot of cricket left in them.

    Darren Bravo should have been in the team.

  • Pragmatic on April 11, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    Well played Australia, but still a lot of work to be done yet. Momentum is slowly building with this side under Clarke and with SA and England on the horizon, it should be interesting cricket indeed. Oh by the way, to all those negative comments coming from English fans, I seem to remember your side lost to the West Indies last time they toured here. In fact aside fron the Ashes when was the last time you guys won away from the Old Dart? Bangladesh maybe? It is lonely at the top, but you need not worry because the end is nigh.

  • Hold_the_line on April 11, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    More momentum building for Australia ... great to see Clarke's quality captaincy on show. This team is building strong, after a long summer of cricket to travel to WI and turn a test around in a day like this says a lot for not only the quality of the players within the team but also thier ability to perform well away from home, unlike some other wayward teams in test cricket at present, who are clearly on the slide.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on April 11, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Marcio - Where have you been? - the English threads are littered with Aussie back chat and POM bashing! It's fine with me, I take it as a sign we're doing a lot of good things when Aussies feel compelled to join English threads and throw proverbial insults. Im lucky to have a few days off to follow the Windies / Oz test and saying it how I see it, that's all. There's a big disconnect between the jingoistic over-confidence of certain Aussie fans and the reality on the pitch. If Cummings and PAttinson are world beaters-in-waiting why aren't they playing? Maybe you should be asking your selectors why they seem hell bent on keeping such amazing talent out of the side? Where are your next batting greats coming from? Ponters and Hussey are soon out of there and that leaves you with whom? Clarke - OK, Watson when his confidence is up is OK too but who else? Warner seems to be a poor man;s Sehwag and his technique will get found out very quicly etc. etc.

  • andrew-schulz on April 11, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Very similar situation to stumps on day 3 of the first Test of the 2003 tour. Windies were 129 ahead with 5 wickets standing, but the draw was out of the equation. Australia won by nine wickets. Meety, how's your maths? If West Indies set Australia 200, even without any big hits from Sammy, there will be close to 70 overs left. That's hardly a 20/20 scenario. Those English posters who seem to think their side is number one and Australia are near the bottom ('undisputed' number one I think one of them said)- England is precisely 5 points ahead of Australia on this ridiculous rankings system. And then one night in August we will all go to bed and wake up the next morning with Australia a ten points better team. The 3 series losses between Aug 2008 and Aug 2009 will no longer count. The 1-5 record between Aug 2010 and Aug 2011 will go from 100 percent weighting to 50 percent. And Australia will jump close to number one. Stupid I know, but not as stupid as England ever being #1.

  • mateyman on April 11, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Also @ Snick To Backward Point. Your information on Lyon appears shaky. "I know he has a wrong un" - he is a off spinner

  • mateyman on April 11, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @ Snick To Backward Point. I don't know too many sides "on the way to rock bottom" that have just handed out a 4-0 thumping to the side ranked second and could've had a shot at becoming the no.1 ranked team had England not won their last game against Sri Lanka

  • RandyOZ on April 11, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    I think the next test team has picked itself. Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Watson, Wade, Pattinson, Harris, Hilf, Lyon. If only the selectors could make this obvious changes.

  • Marcio on April 11, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    Great work from AUS. Not such great play from the WI, as fans are lamenting. At least their fans stick to their own team rather than bashing others, as we see with obvious cases of English supporters on articles related to this game. And what is it with doomsdayer AUS fans who stick the knife into the team after a bad session or two, ignoring the excellent progress of the past 15 months? AUS have a decent team and a good captain. English supporters are stuck in the past too, thinking the team has not progressed since the Ashes. Winning 7 out of 11 tests (losing 2) since then is all the evidence you need to show that is myopic. Hilfenhaus will be a real handful in English conditions, as will Pattinson. Hoping Lyon will prove his detractors wrong by cleaning up the tail tonight.

  • S.Jagernath on April 11, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Good to see quality captaincy from Michael Clarke.This isn't done often enough in modern cricket.The West Indies look like deer in the headlights.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on April 11, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Good declaration but shame Windies capitulated at a cheap psychological move. They bossed the game for 4 days and deserve a draw out of it for sheer dominance. As for bowling talent the bowling sides are ranked as follows IMO: 1) Eng / SA 3) Pakistan 4) Windies 5) Aus / Nzl 6) SL / India. Cummings and PAttinson have some potential to be OK intl bowlers but have much to learn. Lyon is very average, seriously, from what I've seen he's b grade at best. I know he has a wrong un but it's easy to read and there's not much on it. I'm just enjoying the titanic struggle between a side on the way up (Windies) and a side who've yet to reach rock bottom (Oz).

  • RandyOZ on April 11, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    I will be the first to admit over the past 2 years (since the last Ashes) I have been a Clarke critic. I continue to be proven wrong by him, and I am absolutely loving it. Not only the best batsmen in the world but the best captain. Sadly so far Arthur is doing anything but proving me wrong.

  • oracle199 on April 11, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge...... MJ Clarke a bungling clown as Captain? Harsh! 13 Tests as Captain, has lost 3 (one against a rampaging England in his first Test at the helm, one against SA at Capetown and a hiccup against NZ in Hobart where Dougy Bracewell took 6 fa in the last hour). He has won 6 of the last 7, has won in SA and in Sri Lanka and is a good chance of winning again tonight in the Carribean from an inspired declaration. Many of his players have been struggling for form during this time, lots of new blokes in the team - and a lazy Batting Avg of 65. Hardly bungling in my opinion.... @eyballfallenout - I love Test Cricket, too!!

  • Bimalkill2u on April 11, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    Grate come back by the Aussies. It's quite hard for them also to survive the last day. Clarke should give a chance to Harris & Lyon to make their 100* & 50* respectively to put a new record.

    REMINDER OF 47 ALL OUT AUSSIES. IT WILL REPEAT TODAY.

  • PrasPunter on April 11, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    @v_singh, on any day , a true fan of cricket would pick test cricket ahead of the clown-acts ( IPL, BBL, and what ever other crap ). So it is not just this one, but the entire stuff that is dished out in the form of "entertainment". And the bcci's version is the frontrunner and hence it would get a lot of flak. Long live test-cricket !!

  • JG2704 on April 11, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    Very well played the Oz tail enders and very innovative declaration. I'd even go as far as to say that Oz are slight favourites now in a game which looked like heading for a bore draw. I am an England fan so obviously I'll be hoping WI can salvage a draw as I hope any team does well against our immediate threats which at the moment are SA and Oz. What I will say is that Clarke's captaincy seems to be bolder than his SA counterpart who with a little imagination would have won the 3rd test vs NZ to take his side to number 1 in the rankings.Fair play Oz for your tail end batting , your 2nd inns bowling and most of all your bold captaincy. Big fan of Clarke as a captain and as a man and the fact that he has risen to become number 1 batsman whilst being captain says alot about him

  • mdiggity on April 11, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    @ James Minit Mynott I think your comment on Stauss is a little unfair. The captain dosen't make every decision outhere all on his own, the bowlers and other senior players have alot of input too. The Aussie way is to always b on the front foot it's in our nature. As for the comments from @Wefinishthis and @Warrick Hewitt if that's what you really think, you guys probably don't watch much cricket! Clarke and his bowling unit pulled off a master plan, give W.I. ten minutes to survive before tea to survive with the hope of pinching a wicket or two, but then end up having them 4/3 after 4.2 overs brilliant execution. If W.I. can set a total of 200+ it will a be tough ask, wouldn,t be surpised if Warner And Watson open up!

  • The_bowlers_Holding on April 11, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Well what a turnaround, that is test cricket at it's best superb captaincy from Nobby Clarke. West Indies still have their frailties that were evident in India and we knew this but you cannot detract from the Aussies bowling and a win is surely now more likely than not. I have always rated Siddle good work ethic but as for Lyon I am still to be convinced. Nice to see that several of our antipodean posters still have to constantly compare their bowlers to Anderson at every given opportunity, carry on I know who I would rather have. Anyway another good advertisement for the vagaries and continued superiority of test cricket over other forms...shame some of the WI players have to follow the rupee but that is modern sport.

  • sachin_vvsfan on April 11, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    If WI survives for 1 session it would mean an additional 80 runs on the board(assuming sammy scores faster) Then if they get some quick wickets they can force Aus for a draw. There is no way WI can win now. Only draw seems to be their best bet.

  • Sheela on April 11, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    In India most of the critics and fans have got the first innings lead syndrome. Unless the first innings lead is substantial, anything can happen, as is being witnessed in the current Aus-WI Test. Those who decry or against Tests are also proved wrong by the happenings in this Test.

  • karunak on April 11, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    Its great. Clarke shows his guts and intelligence here. And the time of diclaration is perfect...

  • eyballfallenout on April 11, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    @v_singh the english t20 does not get bashed because it does not interfere with international cricket. The big bash league does get a bashing especially from me, i hate that CA are trying to cash in on this format, playing it in the middle of the test series was dumb, what if we needed first class form for a test player coming back? he is playing t20. When sport becomes only about money its not going well.....

  • purna478 on April 11, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    need an innings from sammy 2 either defeat r win he'll score quickly and given a target above 250

  • jonesy2 on April 11, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    my god peter siddle is just unbelievable. hasnt got the wickets but the way he is bowling is of superman status. awesome to hear chants of SIIIIIIDDDDDLLEEEE, SSSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDLLEEEE in the caribbean. legend. the rate at which lyon gets better is equally amaziing as is michael's captaincy. it was good to see this world class bowling attack produce what they are capable of after not doing so in the first innings

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 11, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Good fightback by 'third-man' Harris and the tail that have saved Aus's bacon. Universally agreed by all however is the fact that West Indies bowled shockingly: three full tosses an over is asking to be bunted away by unskilled batsmen. Clarke still has a lot of work to to to move from the bungling clown as captain he's always been infamous for, to something more substantial.

  • boooonnie on April 11, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    I thought the negative reaction to Aust's 5 -248 was a bit premature, just like i think it would be premature to think that the Windies are down and out right now. We are probably getting closer and closer to the stage where any Test nation on their day can turn up and defeat the other. It will however require teams like the Windies to play more Tests. Teams with emerging talent can win at one days and T20s which require short spurts of concentration, but what we are seeing in this game shows that you need to arm wrestle consistently for 4 - 5 days to win a test. This ability is probably what enabled England to get to #1.

  • satish619chandar on April 11, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    What a game.. Sad that WI didn't close it out when it was in their hands.. Now, again they are back to the walls.. It is always good if lag first and earn a draw or win.. but it will hurt double when you have it in front of you but end up losing.. Hope WI saves the match..

  • eyballfallenout on April 11, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    I love test cricket!!!......

  • on April 11, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    With Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine in IPL, the WI team could've fared better with them against Australia.

  • Meety on April 11, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    @James M Mynott - unthinkable proposition - LOL!!!! Don't forget, whilst I don't think too much of Strauss's captaincy from a tactical point of view, he is an outstanding leader of men. I actually don't think the differences between the two squads is all that substantial & so I think the way they get led will play a large part in our the next Ashes instalment plays out, (for an Oz win of course - LOL!). @dunger.bob - agreed, I am confident of an Ozzy win, BUT, 5th day with a 4th innings chase, historically Oz are very hot & cold, for as long as I can remember. WI are still a realistic chance. @BravoBravo - if the WI lead gets to 200+, it is a draw unless Warner pulls off a T20 special. @warnerbasher - agree 100%, just check out 2009 Ashes series stats. The leading takers were.... == == == 100% agree with comments that this is EASILY the best format of the game!

  • v_singh on April 11, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    Nice to see Hilffy get some early wkkts. Else he would have been under immense pressure.. Hope to see more of him in future (esp. English conditions).

    @ Warren Smith : " People who watch IPl instead of this, just dont understand cricket" - different format of cricket have diff. fun when played on sporting pitches. IF you may have watched this years IPL (esp. yesterday, Munaf's spell to dismiss AB), then you may not say that it not entertaining.. IF you do not like IPL, do not watch it !! would you have made similar comments for English T20 leauge or the Big Bash or any other domestic leauge ? I feel IPL gets unfairly criticized a lot as its run by BCCI (mainly); but look at how it has helped in improving financial condt. of many players around the world and given fringe players a chance to play with ex- as well as current internationals !!

  • obstreperous on April 11, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    Even if Australia loses from here, Clarke's declaration is a reminder to this diehard Ponting fan that Clarke has the goods as a captain in a way that Ricky could never quite manage. Ponting has a great win-loss ratio of which he can be rightly proud, but Clarke knows instinctively how to craft a victory, and that's better for Australia, and for Test cricket.

  • landl47 on April 11, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    This is why test cricket is such an intriguing game. Aus lost their 8th wicket at 285 with only Harris, Hilf and Lyon to bat. WI could expect to get them out for around 300, take a lead of 150 into the last 5 sessions and set Aus 350 or so to win. Instead, WI is only 114 ahead, with 5 down and only Sammy and three guys with first-class averages of under 10 to come. Maybe WI can score another 80 and bowl out Aus, or perhaps bat long enough to force the draw or maybe Aus can get the last 5 quickly and take the win. Anything's possible, which is why test cricket is so great to watch.

  • heathrf1974 on April 11, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Turning into a good match. The Windies I think have played well. It will be interesting to see how the Aussies will go in their second innings. I can't believe Narine is playing in the IPL. Stupid decision.

  • simonviller on April 11, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    Now lets see you do something with the bat Mr Baugh ,since you have done so much with your mouth .

  • on April 11, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    Gutsy declaration. I am loving Clarke's captaincy at the moment. Sets up an interesting (and perhaps sleepless) night for us Aussies

  • on April 11, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    Truly inspiring from clarkey - need more positive skippers who strive to make things happen like him to enable test cricket to survive ! any other skipper would have allowed things to meander along with both first innings not completed by mid way day four and 'allowed' harris and lyon to go on to their maiden ton & fifty respectively. again shows for the truly good teams - personal milestones dont matter. a lesson in it for some sides .

  • SICHO on April 11, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    This game is far from over, Michael Clarke took a draw out of it and there is no way the West Indies will win

  • on April 11, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    Clarke only declared because he didn't want Harris to outscore him..lol

  • on April 11, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    This is the Aussie way! Take the game by the scruff of the neck, do what the opposition least expect. We aussies will ALWAYS go for victory, unlike some nations I can think of (Pommies, cough, cough, Indians, cough...)

  • on April 11, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    Awesome test cricket. As usual Australia refuses to lie down and die (similar to the domestic cockroach) and the Windies show that the pitch is becoming very difficult to bat on. If the windies can make Australia try and get 160-180 with 60 overs left, this could be one of the greatest test finishes of all time.

  • on April 11, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    All the W I can hope for now is a draw. Bring back Gayle, Sarwan & co.

  • Wefinishthis on April 11, 2012, 2:20 GMT

    So Clarke has shown that he would prefer the embarrassment of losing from a behind declaration rather than the embarrassment of Harris and Lyon top scoring with centuries. :P

  • on April 11, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    Well done Michael Clarke, well done

  • on April 11, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    well done australia, aggressive intent and giving yourself a chance to win at all costs - the typical aussie way!

  • secondopinion on April 11, 2012, 1:39 GMT

    great captaincy by Clarke brought this match to life. Sure, the risk of an Aussie collapse in 2nd inning was minimum, but then this is cricket as the WI second inning showed.

  • dunger.bob on April 11, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Yet another example of why Test cricket is the best of the 3 formats. Here we are, going into the final day and any of the 4 possible results (lets not forget the tie) is still very do-able. ... if the Windies can stretch their lead up to about 170 and give themselves 2 full sessions to bowl they may yet be able to skittle the Aussies and win the game. .. but they have to lift there scoring rate to do that and there is obviously some risk involved there.

  • rockyyy on April 11, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    if the pitch behaves bad, even winies have a world threatening bowling attack, another 100 runs willl be difficult for aussies

  • rienzied on April 11, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    And that is why Clarkey is a very exiciting captain. I believe, they should win today. they have dried up theruns. The Windies took the foot of the pedal when they had a lead of 160 with 2 wickets left. The big issue is that the captaincy of Clarke is far superior to that of Sammy. Sammy does not have the presence and merely has the support of WICB and the newer players.

  • warnerbasher on April 11, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Despite the scorn poured on Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus on cricinfo blogsites re their capacity as test bowlers they both have bowling averages lower than James Anderson in test cricket. I'm not doubting Andersons quality. I would suggest however that both Siddle and Hilfenhaus may be an entirely different proposition in England next year than what they were during the recent Ashes tour here. Coupled with that they both appear more capable of standing up to the rigours of a 5 match series than most of the English bowlers. Looking forward to it!!!!

  • BravoBravo on April 11, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    If WI can get a lead of 200+, It will be dificult for AUS to win this match. It is turning out to be a very interesting match, and needless to say that the 5-day format of the game remains the best as compared to ODI and T20. I am hoping this match will be a kind of suspense thriller on day 5. Kudos to Clarke for declaring the AUS first innings. Credit goes to him for leading this match towards a nail biting finish. I guess WI, AUS and PAK are the only team which takes the kind of risk as Clarke did today, and that kind of risk makes these teams so entertaining to watch as they play game in the true spirit of the game. Good luck to both WI and AUS.

  • on April 11, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    Why doesn't Straussy make more positive decisions in matches like all Australian captains? We have a better team than Australia at the moment. and yet our tactics (field placings, bowling changes and declarations) are more defensive. If you could imagine (I know it's difficult aussies!) Michael Clarke captaining England that team would be nigh on invincible like the recentish golden age of Australian cricket. Alas that is not to be...

    Hats off to Clarkey and Harris today fantastic stuff!

  • jmcilhinney on April 11, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    @RandyOZ, you said yesterday "I never wanted Khawaja dropped, so try and get your facts straight" yet, after Australia's loss to NZ in Hobart you said "Hughes, Ponting, Haddin and to a lesser extent Starc don't deserve to be let down lightly, you are AXED. Khawaja needs to perform in the Prime Minister's XI or he also gets the axe". Khawaja scored 25 in that PM's XI game, which I assumed would be considered inadequate from a Test #3 in a tour game in Canberra. Either you wanted him dropped or your standards are lower than I thought they were and you profess them to be. Awaiting your replay.

  • Wallaroo on April 11, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    I just hope this match doesn't end in a draw. C'mon Aus. Absolutely correct though - The Windies thought they had this in the bag but forgot they were playing Australia, I love it when our never say die attitude prevails.

  • jmcilhinney on April 11, 2012, 0:37 GMT

    Wow, what a turnaround. With Australia 8 down and still over 150 behind, WI were looking a real chance to win but now they'll be lucky to save the game. The Aussie tail has scored runs before recently but this is probably their best effort. That said I don't think 9, 10 & 11 score that many without some help from the bowlers. I think WI were busy thinking about how the 2nd innings might go before they'd finished off the first. That declaration shows once again that Clarke is probably the most aggressive captain in Test cricket. Even with WI ahead, the momentum going into the second innings was with Australia and they rode it right through the WI top order. I guess all results are still possible, so we may be in for another exciting finish, but I'd say that Australia are favourites right now.

  • ali00 on April 11, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    A very good fight back from the Aussies and i really liked the knock from our bowlers who contribute with bat and it is good to see the aussies are fighting back.

  • on April 11, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    If West Indies can post 165 and with the 43 run lead, anything over 200 will be impossible on this pitch. We may be in for another thriller like the test match in Mumbai where the Windies drew with India.

  • Mikecricket on April 11, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    Yeah Australia! great effort to come back! we should win it on the final day go Australia!!!

  • gloriouscricket on April 11, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    Michael Clarke got into the head of the WI @ the mecca of cricket today[lets hope it wont continue tomorrow]. When he declared Australia,s innings some 43 runs behind the host innings--he was really throwing the gauntlet down;He was letting the Windies know that it was his Australians that set the tempo of the game, he was pulling it back from them, stop me if you can.So far they haven,t.Can they? "Yes", Will THEY? IF THEY HAVE THE WILL, YES. For those of you who criticised Gibson for asking his men to be prepared to bat all day, he was,nt just speaking to the talented Deonarine, he was addressing the team.Yes he wanted Deonarine to be aware of what was expected of him. The Aussies are relentless, they give no quarter neither do they ask any;They take! Lets see if The Windies last 5 can emulate the Aussies. I say we will.Bat WINDIES, YOU,RE AT THE OVAL.

  • Captain_Oblivious on April 11, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    a few people questioned ashley mallett's recent high praise of clarke's captaincy, but that clever declaration is an example of why some people already rate him as a captain; very much like an ian chappell or mark taylor in philosophy. sorry to say, but i could never imagine ponting declaring 40-odd behind. it was a brave decision and gave his team a chance to apply some pressure after being psychologically high after the tail wagged, and this gives his players self-belief. Although this team is still short of genuine class imo, they have become a competitive unit that play to their strengths and never give up (as evidenced with the brilliant 2nd test performance against sth africa after the terrible 47). Although the windies could have easily come out and scored 0/120 by stumps, it was a great, aggressive piece of captaincy that deserved to be rewarded.

  • Hyderabadi_Nawab on April 11, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Full marks to Clarke for a fantastic declaration, if only I had a nickel for every time I wished a captain would declare to make the game more interesting and in this case putting his own side in a winning position. I hope Aussies pull it off just to showcase this test as the way the game should be played---good on ya Pup!

  • CricketGod on April 11, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    Aussie Aussie Aussie. Oi oi oi!

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    Bear in mind Australia have no reviews left so they have to tough it out for the final 5 wickets in the first session. So Clarke no matter how confident, he used those reviews in desperation. If the umpire gives not out but with no reviews left and replays clearly showing that it is out then Australia have wasted their opportunities. WI meanwhile have one review to preserve. Australia may look like they are in a winning position, we would only find out tomorrow.

  • Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on April 10, 2012, 23:57 GMT

    When Clarke said Australia could win at a press conf after Day 3, I and presumably many others figured it was just the sort of line a captain had to trot out. A day later, and he's looking like a genius. Brilliant knock by the tail, particularly Harris, and the perfectly timed aggressive declaration which is the mark of a skipper who really knows his stuff. Day 5 promises to be a beauty, with either side still in the game, and a draw or tie also still in play. Absorbing cricket, hopefully the weather will hold out.

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    I feel that a lead of 225 will be good for WI assuming that the wicket is deterriating by now

  • cracker2012 on April 10, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    WI should just surrender the series, they dont know how to win games.

  • Rooboy on April 10, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    This is why Test cricket is the best form of the game. Twists and turns you just can't get with 20/20. I wonder what Maurice Foster thinks about the 'worst Australian bowling' attack reducing his side to 4/17 ... good thing for the WI that Aus don't have any decent bowlers lol

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Bagwattie and Kirth Edwards are sent in WI Test team as boys to do a man's job. Its Test Cricket boys can only play 1 day good. Narsingh Deonarine already got a foot out the door .....so said Otis Gibson.

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    The contest is on. Did WI learn anything against India when they scored 590 only to be bundled out for 134 in the second then india drawing level and almost winning. This could be a walk over for Australia or the pitch has finally come alive which means it would be much harder for the Aussies. Well with only one day left seem like Adelaide 2006 all over again when England were defeated after scoring 550 in the first innings. Sammy should have not declared but batted on in the first innings. He now has a lot of work to do for his team. His enthusiam may have disappeared as has his chances of victory.

  • Meety on April 10, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    Yes, yes- Oz are hopeless, terrible cricket team, oh wait that was yesterday. Today they have finished in front of the WIndies & a genuine shot at running thru the tail & winning this match. How this must sadden some. On a serious note, I am actually dissappointed for WIndies fans. They should of closed this match out & had a lead over 150 runs with about 7 wickets in hand. Deonarine's 20 has been crucial in delaying Oz, but a S/R of 25 means that one error from him or his partners & the game is Oz. He needs to look to score more - particularly if wickets continue to fall. == == == From the little bit I've seen - it doesn't appear that the pitch has caused any of the problems in terms of wickets. I think that it may be hard for Oz to chase anything that requires more than 2.5 rpo. That's unless of course Warner doesn't go nuts & play a T20 test innings!

  • chicko1983 on April 10, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    Laughing at the RedWhiteArmy and Front-Foot-Lunge posts in the previous day's play.

    The only team that can win the test from here is Australia. The best they can play and the worst Aussies can and at home and they still cant beat them. Well done Clarkey, undoubtedly the best captain in test cricket. What a declaration, at least he shows some intent and tactical nous, unlike Strauss, Smith, Dhoni.

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    This just doesn't hurt or surprise me anymore. I think I am finally getting over the heartbreak :)

  • on April 10, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    AWESOME test match. Watched the whole days play. People who watch IPl instead of this, just dont understand cricket. In fact - i vote that 20/20 should be renamed to 'baseball' and sold to the Martians with a no returns policy. regardless of who wins - awesome stuff! well played both teams. BRILLIANT captaincy by Clarke.

  • Akoben on April 10, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    Well, well... I am sure the 'doom seekers' will come out again calling for the heads of Sammy & Gibson (plus others they don't like). For me this is the continuation of the learning curve. We missed the extra bowler (Rampaul) to continue the pressure. I have to admit that I would not have played Deonarine, leaving Sammy to bat at 6 (still believe he needs to back his batting), but we would now be in even a bigger hole. Having just the two pacers lessens our 'bite'. The top 5 just got done today, but does not mean it will happen tomorrow. Still backing the fellas to set a tempting target for the Aussies to attempt, leaving Edwards & Roach to fire. However, something tells me Captain Sammy will have a magical final day.....!

  • yorkshirematt on April 10, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    Just when it looked like the windies were starting to improve their top order gets rolled by the aussies' "pop gun attack" as randy oz or jonesy 2 would say

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  • yorkshirematt on April 10, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    Just when it looked like the windies were starting to improve their top order gets rolled by the aussies' "pop gun attack" as randy oz or jonesy 2 would say

  • Akoben on April 10, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    Well, well... I am sure the 'doom seekers' will come out again calling for the heads of Sammy & Gibson (plus others they don't like). For me this is the continuation of the learning curve. We missed the extra bowler (Rampaul) to continue the pressure. I have to admit that I would not have played Deonarine, leaving Sammy to bat at 6 (still believe he needs to back his batting), but we would now be in even a bigger hole. Having just the two pacers lessens our 'bite'. The top 5 just got done today, but does not mean it will happen tomorrow. Still backing the fellas to set a tempting target for the Aussies to attempt, leaving Edwards & Roach to fire. However, something tells me Captain Sammy will have a magical final day.....!

  • on April 10, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    AWESOME test match. Watched the whole days play. People who watch IPl instead of this, just dont understand cricket. In fact - i vote that 20/20 should be renamed to 'baseball' and sold to the Martians with a no returns policy. regardless of who wins - awesome stuff! well played both teams. BRILLIANT captaincy by Clarke.

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    This just doesn't hurt or surprise me anymore. I think I am finally getting over the heartbreak :)

  • chicko1983 on April 10, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    Laughing at the RedWhiteArmy and Front-Foot-Lunge posts in the previous day's play.

    The only team that can win the test from here is Australia. The best they can play and the worst Aussies can and at home and they still cant beat them. Well done Clarkey, undoubtedly the best captain in test cricket. What a declaration, at least he shows some intent and tactical nous, unlike Strauss, Smith, Dhoni.

  • Meety on April 10, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    Yes, yes- Oz are hopeless, terrible cricket team, oh wait that was yesterday. Today they have finished in front of the WIndies & a genuine shot at running thru the tail & winning this match. How this must sadden some. On a serious note, I am actually dissappointed for WIndies fans. They should of closed this match out & had a lead over 150 runs with about 7 wickets in hand. Deonarine's 20 has been crucial in delaying Oz, but a S/R of 25 means that one error from him or his partners & the game is Oz. He needs to look to score more - particularly if wickets continue to fall. == == == From the little bit I've seen - it doesn't appear that the pitch has caused any of the problems in terms of wickets. I think that it may be hard for Oz to chase anything that requires more than 2.5 rpo. That's unless of course Warner doesn't go nuts & play a T20 test innings!

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    The contest is on. Did WI learn anything against India when they scored 590 only to be bundled out for 134 in the second then india drawing level and almost winning. This could be a walk over for Australia or the pitch has finally come alive which means it would be much harder for the Aussies. Well with only one day left seem like Adelaide 2006 all over again when England were defeated after scoring 550 in the first innings. Sammy should have not declared but batted on in the first innings. He now has a lot of work to do for his team. His enthusiam may have disappeared as has his chances of victory.

  • on April 10, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Bagwattie and Kirth Edwards are sent in WI Test team as boys to do a man's job. Its Test Cricket boys can only play 1 day good. Narsingh Deonarine already got a foot out the door .....so said Otis Gibson.

  • Rooboy on April 10, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    This is why Test cricket is the best form of the game. Twists and turns you just can't get with 20/20. I wonder what Maurice Foster thinks about the 'worst Australian bowling' attack reducing his side to 4/17 ... good thing for the WI that Aus don't have any decent bowlers lol

  • cracker2012 on April 10, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    WI should just surrender the series, they dont know how to win games.