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April 27, 2012
Australia 328 and 259 beat West Indies 218 and 294 (Chanderpaul 69, Sammy 61, Clarke 5-86, Lyon 3-87) by 75 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In the end, the final day of the tour followed the same script as the rest of the series: West Indies fought hard and provided Australia with a few headaches, but their efforts came to nought. Instead, Michael Clarke's second five-wicket haul in Tests helped the Australians wrap up a 75-run victory and they took the series 2-0, despite some powerful striking from the West Indies captain Darren Sammy.
It took Australia two hours on the fifth morning to take the five wickets that remained after the critical breakthrough in the last over of the fourth day, when Shivnarine Chanderpaul was lbw. With each four and six that Sammy produced the West Indian fans dreamed of a famous win, but too much had been left to the lower order and a steady stream of wickets meant Sammy and the No.11 Shane Shillingford came together with 125 runs still needed.
Their 50-run partnership was promising but ended when Sammy, on 61 from 51 balls, top-edged a sweep off the bowling of Nathan Lyon (3 for 87) and was caught at short fine leg, leaving the local hero Shillingford unbeaten on 31. The result might have been a little closer than the Australians wanted, but Clarke was thrilled to emerge from the series with a 2-0 victory, the rain-affected Trinidad Test having not allowed either team enough time to push for a win.
While Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo were occupying the crease on the fourth day it could easily have gone awry for Australia. But starting the fifth day with Narsingh Deonarine as the last specialist batsman at the crease having been joined by the wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh, who was about to lose his place to Denesh Ramdin for the upcoming tour of England, West Indies needed something miraculous.
It didn't come from Deonarine, who added only two to his overnight total before he pushed at a Clarke delivery and provided a return catch on 13. Baugh followed on 12 when he pulled Nathan Lyon hard and Ricky Ponting at short midwicket showed immaculate reflexes to hold on to a difficult catch. But better was to come from the Australians in the field.
Clarke could do no wrong with the ball and he carried that touch with him into the slip cordon, thrusting his left hand low to the ground to snap up a brilliant catch when Kemar Roach (2) edged Lyon. In the next over Clarke collected his fifth wicket for the first time in a Test innings since his 6 for 9 in Mumbai in 2004 when Ravi Rampaul skied a catch to long on.
Clarke finished with 5 for 86 and took himself out of the attack after copping some punishment from Sammy, who was murderous through midwicket and long-on. Sammy struck four fours and three sixes and had excellent support from Shillingford, who hit six boundaries, but in the end the target was just too tall.
The Australians can now head home, or in many cases to the IPL, and enjoy a six-month break from Test cricket having capped off a strong first year under the captaincy of Clarke. West Indies head to England with a similar squad - Baugh and Kraigg Brathwaite were dropped though - and must find a way to play five strong days in a Test instead of two or three. Had they managed that over the past few weeks, an already entertaining series could have become a thriller.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
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