West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 5th day April 27, 2012

Clarke takes five in 75-run victory


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 here

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  • zenboomerang on April 30, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    @JG2704 / @Meety... Tough call on "ifs" & "maybe's"... Personally I thought a 2-0 score for both Eng (at home) & Oz (away) in their SL series "if" the weather" hadn't intervened... But this is Test cricket & weather can always be a factor... No team was batting to stay alive (9-for) at the finish, so I'm happy that we both got away with a series win...

  • Meety on April 29, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    @JG2704 - that's the thing, at what point do you say the weather changed the tactics? I would say that the early declarations in the 2nd test, gave SL a shot, & I think they were good enough to reach that total. I would also say that in the 3rd test, that historically, any chase over 200 is tough batting last. So I would say SL was well placed partially due to weather, partially due to their own efforts, & hence 2-1 in Eng's favour would of been a fair result. Unfortunately it is very subjective. Just like Oz beating SL 1nil, I could put a good case fwd as to why we "would" of won 3nil, however, in the 3rd test, Oz had "only" set SL 330 odd to win. Historically Oz were with the upper hand, however, SL are more than capable of getting 300+ in any innings on home soil. In any case - with regards to that series, I just say that Oz won 1nil & were in reasonably strong positions when rain interrupted. The Eng v SL series, many English fans were counting it as 3nil, I argued against that.

  • dummy4fb on April 29, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    @bolo and Drew 12 agreed the weightage on ur comments came from the oz victory in Sri lanka .Dont forget Sri lankan team well on course of decline at that stage and looking for recovery Post Murali era much more than the Australians than under new cap Michel clarke .Read my Comments carefully in my later coloum Australia top bid will depend upon their home series against South Africa (whom they lost Badly last time at home),Ashes series (Where England mauled them 3 out of last 4 series) and India (where they won the serieis only once in last 40 years).Really Australia played some exciting cricket of late no doubt but they still had number of point to prove are they really in hunt to regain their No 1 status.Not a facial excuse mate just a check

  • JG2704 on April 29, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    @Meety on (April 28 2012, 21:43 PM GMT) I'm just interested in which test you thought SL would have won. At the time I felt that we would have won both and in one of the tests SL's last 7 would have needed to have scored a further 250+ to win and in the other they had a 141 lead with 5 wickets remaining. At that time I'd have fancied Eng's form batting players in home conditions chasing 300+ so that would have meant SL would have had to have scored a further 159+ for the final 5 wkts.In both tests Eng declared possibly 50 runs light also , but even as it was I'd have fancied our bowlers to take the remaining wkts before SL scored a further 250 runs and would have fancied our bowlers to have taken the remaining 5 wkts for less than 159 and our batsmen to chase anything around 300.I also stand by my comms having seen what SL's last 7/5 wkts went for in the rest of the series. Just interested which of the 2 tests you thought SL were in a better position as comp to the other?

  • Meety on April 29, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    @Carpathian - well fortunately we have UDRS - & that decision would in all likelihood never happen again. Do you remember a tour M Waugh had in SL in the mid to late 90s, the one where he got about 3 ducks - of I think the 5 times he got out that series 3 of them were from decisions that were at the least dubious - my point? Cricket history is loaded with decisions people think were wrong - get over it, I am sure Kumar (The Great IMO), has! @ jmcilhinney - yes agreed re: Swann - but bear in mind, we are talking about a bloke (Swann) was ICC ranked #1 taking 5 tests before he worked out how to bowl in "asian" conditions, even with all his experience, (not saying he was bad), Lyon became competitive after one test. IMO - to bag Lyon is to discredit Swann (atm) as they are VERY comparable! Both rely on the pace bowlers to do some top order damage, both still have scope to improve.

  • Hippiantor on April 29, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    @Carpathian S.L. still needed 140 runs with only 2 wickets left before Sanga was given out. To still say that S.L. were well placed to win is absolutely ridiculous!

  • Sinhaya on April 29, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    @JG2704, Windies might most probably be on par with England for 3 days and from day 4 they will likely crumble. If Windies can lose tests 2-0 that is somewhat good and if they can lose 1-0 it is marvelous on their part. Unlikely that they would lose 3-0 considering they fought well in their last tour of Australia in late 2009 to lose 2-0 where they lost the last test by 35 runs. ODIs I think Windies have improved a lot and is widely open. They could have beaten Aussies in all 5 with a little bit more effort. By the way Sri Lanka will be coming to England for the summers of 2014 and 2016 as per FTP!

  • Carpathian on April 29, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    @Meety. Do you happen to remember when Sri Lanka was well placed the last time they played a Test in Australia? You know, the Hobart match in which Sangakkara was guiding the visitors to victory until he was sent backing by a ludicrous umpiring decision?

  • jmcilhinney on April 29, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    I think that RandyOZ must be Nathan Lyon's nephew or something. Graeme Swann was, in Randy's estimation, proven to be pathetic in UAE against Pakistan with an average of 25.08, a strike rate of 53.00 and an economy rate of 2.84, while Nathan Lyon is arguably the best spinner in the world when in this series he had an average of 25.92, a strike rate of 61.62 and an economy rate of 2.52. Clearly Randy places a great deal of importance on economy rate because it is the only area where Lyon was superior. Nathan Lyon has had a reasonably good start to his career, which Swann did not, and he may wind up being very good if he continues to improve but, given that the consensus is that Swann was below par in UAE and he was still better than Lyon here, I'd say that Lyon still has a way to go. Randy says that he doesn't believe ICC rankings because Swann was ranked #1 spinner but Randy obviously doesn't base his own opinions on actual results, unlike the ICC.

  • harshthakor on April 29, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Overall,a great fightback by West Indies in this series.They gave the Aussies a good run for their money making a real fist of it.losing margins of 3 wickets and 75 runs show that the Calypsos are catching up with the better teams.This series also shows that there is hardly much between any of the top 5-6 teams in test cricket.

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