West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 5th day April 19, 2012

A good call and a brave promotion

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the final in Port-of-Spain where rain prevented an exciting conclusion

Record of the day

When Kemar Roach sent Ben Hilfenhaus' off stump cartwheeling - the second time he had plucked that very same stump in the match, having also removed it when belonging to Shane Watson - he became the first West Indies fast bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test since Corey Collymore against Pakistan at Sabina Park in 2005. Against Australia the drought had stretched as far back as the one-run Adelaide Oval Test of 1993, when Curtly Ambrose rounded up 10 to help the visitors to the narrowest win in the history of the five-day game. No wonder Roach celebrated wildly when the wicket fell, and also led his team-mates off at the end of the innings.

Declaration of the day

From the moment Michael Hussey cracked Narsingh Deonarine's first ball after lunch for six over wide long off, it was clear that Michael Clarke's Australia would try to make something of the match, even though the rain threatened. Having taken the lead to 214 for the loss of eight wickets, Clarke called his men in, as he had done in the first innings at Kensington Oval. Given the scoring rate across the match and the strong likelihood of rain, Clarke's call was as shrewd as it was bold, but his desire to keep the game moving at all costs remained clear.

Promotion of the day

Having been set a challenge by Clarke, Darren Sammy responded grandly in the 11 overs that were possible before the long threatened rain blanketed the ground. First, he promoted Kieran Powell to open with Adrian Barath instead of the more conservative Kraigg Brathwaite. Powell stroked his first ball through the covers for four, and after his dismissal the next man in was no-one other than Sammy himself, seeking to drag the West Indies into the contest with rapid runs. He had perished by this method in the first innings, but in the second he brought the match to life with a series of brave blows, reaching 30 from 26 balls before light and rain intervened. On a pitch that has been the epitome of slow and low, his innings was the only of the match to return a strike rate of better than 100.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tim on April 22, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    Don't know why Sammy keeps getting bagged out. How many bowlers in world cricket have more than 50 wicket at an average of less than 30? I think there is about 4 or 5, of which Sammy is one. Maybe Fidel or Rampaul are quicker, but records speak for themselves and those 2 will never get their average anywhere near as low as Sammy

  • sridhar on April 21, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    I think both captains have to be complimented in trying to get a result. Of course you can always quibble about the quality of the west Indian team and whether Clarke would have decalred if it had been a stronger team. But what is clear is that in his limited tenure of captaincy , Clarke has demonstrated that he wants to win, whatever the state of the game and his declarations have demonstrated that intent adeqately. I like Sammy too and I admire him for what he is trying to do. I think west Indian supporters are being too critical of him. His is a thankless job and unlike in the past, at least he is trying to bring together crciketers from different islands and making a team of it. Of course the reality is that some of the players are not test class, but the conditions are in favour of the windies and Australia too is a team in transition. It has people like Ponting who are in their way out and guys like Cowan, who are making their first tour abroad. Great captaincy both ! sridhar

  • Randolph on April 21, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    @Aussasinator - just like the United XI owned the whitewashed series against Pakistan? lol, good one.

  • buz on April 20, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    I have had to change my mind about Clarke over the past year - he is a very astute unselfish cricketer. Sammy as well brings something to the West Indian team that had been sadly lacking. These two teams are striving to provide challenging result driven cricket. Hats off to all of them (and please give Sammy a break!)

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    This WI team have some real problem to address before we can turn the corner we need 3 genuine fast men with the genuine spinner a keeper batsman a genuine alrounder and a pair of openers. The captain is occupying the alrounder spot but he is playing as bowler so this is making us playing a bowler short. For example Australia 4 genuine bowler with S Watson as their genuine alrounder as their 5 bowler. WI team out fit we will never have Rampaul , Roach and Edwards playing together .

  • Andrew on April 20, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    @Harmony111 - funny how a pre-conceived idea can lead to your comment. Neither captain wanted to go off!

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    I disagree with all who think Micheal Clark declaration was in sprit of a good game it is more to me that he has no respect for Sammy and his men , because no captain who respect the next team would make a declaration giving them such an open opportunity of winning game. I see Sammy promoting him self to # 3 as a nothing to lose situation so I do not see any thing there for the Sammy worshipers. As for the team I see no Improvement what I see is a very weak Australian team ,The reason for my assessment WI have the same inconsistency in their performance just like when B Lara , C Hooper , J Adams, S Shanderpaul, C Gayle and now D Sammy. I will say to all fans take the time out and look at the numbers for the last 15 years. This test match was more like England with out KP how slow runs were score not Australia.

  • Roland on April 20, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    Sammy's poor captiancy resulted in WI losing 2 ODI which the WI should have won. He was in the wicket when they needed 1 run to win, 3 balls remaining and did not get it, set very poor fields, used his bowlers poorly and weakened the team in every possible way. While he may be a good cheerleader, he is a poor captain. His insistence to use 2 spinners in the last session was another tactical mistake in the 1st test. If he had used 2 fast bowlers, Aus would not have scored the runs so quickly as less overs would have been bowed. he also set a very poor field, way to defensive against the lower order of Aus in the 1st innings, letting them score 100 more runs than they should have...........so he was responsible for WI losing the first test when they should have drawn the game. All this talk about Sammy being a good captain is sickening. Anyone with WI cricket best interest in mind would know that he is a poor captain and lousy tactician. Wi is not doing any better than the past.

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Sammy seems to hold the team together but how much is it worth it...for example would Rampaul, Roach and fidel me more potent....I think so...but then who will be the captain...maybe wait till Bravo gets better and then do the switch...

  • Vivian on April 20, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Darren Sammy's role in the WI team may be puzzling at times. Then there are times when he shows us why. His primary role is to be a good leader and he can't be docked off any points because he's made that role his own in this current WI setup.

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