Wednesday 11 April 2012 

Australia Pull Out All The Stops To Clinch Victory

Australia Pull Out All The Stops To Clinch Victory
Australia Pull Out All The Stops To Clinch Victory
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Australia 406-9 dec. & 192-7 (Watson 52) beat
West Indies 449-9 dec. & 148 by three wickets
First Test, Barbados
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Australia completed a three-wicket victory with around an hour to spare on the final day of the first Test against the West Indies to snatch a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

After the West Indies were bowled out for 148 in their second innings, Shane Watson's half-century handed Australia enough runs, despite some late jitters, to reach a victory target of 192.

Matthew Wade (18) and Michael Hussey (32) were both dismissed by Kemar Roach with victory in sight but Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris finished off the job.

It was somewhat fitting that the two fast bowlers were there at the end as their efforts with the bat in the first innings and then with the ball had turned the game on its head.

Hilfenhaus finished with four for 27 and Harris, who scored a maiden Test half-century in Australia's first innings, returned three for 31 as the West Indies failed to string together the partnerships they needed to make the game safe.

Carlton Baugh made 23 and Roach 25 but that was as strong as their resistance would get.

Captain Darren Sammy was bowled by Watson for 14 and Fidel Edwards fell for three to set Australia a testing target given that rain delayed proceedings before they began their reply and the light was always likely to close in on them.

They got off to a good start, David Warner leading the way with 22 in 39 balls as opening partner Ed Cowan was more circumspect, making 34 in 100.

Warner was caught by Baugh off Sammy and Cowan fell when he was caught by first-innings centurion Shivnarine Chanderpaul off Narsingh Deonarine.

Deonarine proved a revelation with the ball, going to also take the wickets of Watson, Ricky Ponting (14) and Michael Clarke (6) to finish with four for 53, although his efforts proved to be in vain.

Watson's 52 in 57 balls included four fours and a six and was the defining innings of the day, taking Australia from a position of uncertainty towards one where they were in control, although Cowan's 34 and Hussey's 32 ensured there would be no way back for the West Indies.

Despite Roach bowling Hussey and having Wade caught by Devendra Bishoo, Harris (4) and Hilfenhaus (2) held their nerve although even the winning moment was full of drama as the third umpire had to adjudge whether Hilfenhaus had made his ground successfully.

He had, and Australia move to the second match, which begins in Trinidad on 15th April with a lead that few expected them to have given the slow nature of the game up until the final two days.

© Cricket World 2012