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At Melbourne, December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. Australia won by 139 runs. Toss: Australia.
While Simmons and his captain, Richardson, were attacking in a second-wicket partnership of 134 on the final morning West Indies threatened a remarkable victory, but a target of 359 on a worn pitch was an enormous one. Once Warne, in his fifth Test, bowled Richardson with a top-spinner just before lunch, the effort disintegrated. The last nine wickets fell for 76 and by tea Australia were 1-0 up in the series. Warne was the destroyer with seven wickets, three from the North End and his last four, for three runs, from the South.
The platform for Australia's eventual win was built by Mark Waugh and Border, who came together at 115 for four on the first day to add 204. Waugh's century was his third in Tests, Border's his 25th. Both were let off by the wicket-keeper, Williams: Waugh on a stumping off Hooper when 23 and a catch off Bishop when 71, Border on a wide leg-side deflection off Ambrose when five. Waugh batted five hours 35 minutes and hit nine fours. Border's third hundred against West Indies, his first since 1983-84, lasted nearly six hours, included a six and five fours and came at an opportune time, just when his lengthy hold on the captaincy was being increasingly questioned by the media.
Hughes quickly accounted for Haynes, Simmons and Richardson on the second afternoon, which took him to 150 Test wickets. For the second successive Test Lara and Arthurton rescued the innings by adding over a hundred together; the slowness of the recently relaid outfield was reflected in the fact that they ran two fours and 11 threes. But West Indies lost their last five wickets for 41 once Arthurton was out to McDermott, who took four for 17 from his final seven overs.
Australia's suspicions of the pitch were confirmed by a shooter from Simmons which bowled a bemused Boon late on the third day, and they approached their task with utmost caution, in spite of a first-innings lead of 162. Taylor laboured four hours and ten minutes over 42 and when Border was sixth out the margin had advanced only to 264 and West Indies were back in contention. It was Martyn, in his second Test, who ignored the doubts of his seniors and stimulated a revival that brought 94 for the last four wickets at a run a minute.
The loss of Haynes in the 13 overs they faced on the fourth evening was a setback to West Indian hopes, but Simmons and Richardson lifted them again next morning. They were less than a quarter of an hour away from lunch, having added 111 on the day, when Richardson, playing from the crease, was deceived by Warne. Simmons went on to score his maiden Test hundred in his 20th innings but, by the time he became Warne's fourth victim, caught at mid wicket, the decline was terminal. Less than an hour later, Australia had completed their ninth win in 12 Tests against West Indies on the ground.
Man of the Match: S. K. Warne. Attendance: 137,134.
Close of play: First day, Australia 227-4 (M. E. Waugh 63*, A. R. Border 51*); Second day, West Indies 62-3 (B. C. Lara 14*, K. L. T. Arthurton 13*); Third day, Australia 26-1(M. A. Taylor 9*, S. K. Warne 1*); Fourth day, West Indies 32-1 (P. V. Simmons 14*, R. B. Richardson 12*).