Rain ends prospect of intriguing finish
Australia 311 (Hussey 73, Watson 56, Roach 5-105) and 160 for 8 dec (Ponting 41, Roach 5-41) drew with West Indies 257 (Chanderpaul 94, Lyon 5-68) and 53 for 2
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As it had threatened to do the weather had the final say in Port-of-Spain and end the prospect of a fascinating finish after both captains took up each other's challenge to force a positive result. Michael Clarke declared to leave West Indies a target of 215 in 61 overs then Darren Sammy promoted himself to No. 3 as the hosts reached 53 for 2 when they were forced off which meant Australia retained the Frank Worrell Trophy.
The initial asking rate for West Indies of 3.52 was considerably more than had been managed for a sustained period at any stage of the game. However, Sammy's attacking mindset put his team ahead of the rate as he took on Australia's bowlers, especially Ben Hilfenhaus who he hit for 14 off three deliveries.
Hilfenhaus, though, had also given Australia their opening with a strong new-ball spell. He trapped Kieran Powell lbw, after he had been promoted to open, with a delivery that swung back (for the second time in the game Powell made the wrong decision over a review) then removed Adrian Barath with one that climbed from a length and took the edge to first slip.
But from 13 for 2 Sammy responded with two early boundaries off Shane Watson to show his mind was not turning towards the draw although some of his earlier fielding settings had suggested otherwise. Darren Bravo, who could have provided an anchor to the innings, was content to play quietly alongside his captain before the clouds rolled in.
Australia had signalled their intent immediately after lunch when Michael Hussey lofted the first ball of the second session over long-off against Narsingh Deonarine then slog-swept another boundary to signal the intent. Sammy immediately set his field deep as Hussey and Matthew Wade started to play tip-and-run cricket.
Hussey dragged Kemar Roach into his stumps, as he tried to glide the ball to third man, and three balls later Hilfenhaus had his off stump pegged back as Roach became the first West Indies bowler since Curtly Ambrose in 1993 to take ten in a match against Australia.
The visitors had found progress hard going during the morning session and after losing Clarke and Ricky Ponting in quick succession had to guard against a more damaging collapse. Australia's first boundary did not come until the 10th over of the day when Ponting flicked Fidel Edwards to fine leg and two balls later Ponting hooked a well-directed bouncer straight to deep square-leg.
It was due reward for Edwards, who had toiled without luck during this match while Roach picked up the wickets, and meant Ponting did not covert his hard work. His 41 was more than he had made in his previous eight international innings combined but the mode of dismissal was likely to start more debate.
Two overs later West Indies' morning got even better thanks to spark of fielding brilliance from Sammy. Clarke pushed fractionally early at a delivery that may have stopped in the surface, sending the ball back down the pitch but fair distance to Sammy's right in his follow through. However, Sammy stuck out his hand and with the ball almost past him clung onto the catch before a nonchalant celebration.
It left the intriguing situation of Australia being 149 ahead with 82 overs left in match and also having an injured James Pattinson in the dressing room. Shillingford began his latest exacting spell of the match as he teased and tested Hussey and Wade. The ball beat the outside edge and took the inside edge but nothing quite went to hand for West Indies.
Shortly before Australia started to release some of the pressure as Wade pulled Sammy for a boundary and Hussey swept Shillingford and that was sign of things to come but in the end the efforts of both sides were futile.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo