Monday 16 June 2008 

Casson And Clark The Stars As Australia Wrap Up Win

Two West Indian wickets fell in three balls as Australia, led by three wickets from Beau Casson and Stuart Clark, beat West Indies by 87 runs in the third and final Test in Barbados to seal a 2-0 series win.

After going to lunch on 316 for five, the West Indians were fairly swiftly bowled out for 387 after the break, a fine effort in itself but on the day not enough to beat Australia.

The first ball of the day was edged through a vacant second slip area by Shivnarine Chanderpaul (50), but thereafter Dwayne Bravo (69) and the left-hander batted brilliantly in the morning session, pushing their fourth wicket partnership to 122 before Bravo was well caught by Phil Jaques at silly point off of Casson.

The new ball was immediately taken and handed to Clark and with its second delivery he had Chanderpaul trapped in front.

Bravo had earlier hit Casson for three sixes over cover and Australia were moved to go on the defensive, men sent to the boundary in a bid to frustrate the pair.

Chanderpaul moved past 8,000 runs in registering his 49th Test half-century while Bravo, played some fine strokes, passed fifty for the 11th time.

It took a good catch from Jaques to get rid of him and it was a defensive push at Casson coming round the wicket that saw him have to depart.

The ball to get rid of Chanderpaul looked to be a little high, but it brought his run of unbeaten innings to an end and left the West Indies on the ropes.

Denesh Ramdin hit one sweetly-timed cover drive for four off of Brett Lee before he played all round a straight Clark delivery. If Chanderpaul's decision was marginal, there was no doubt about this one, the wicket-keeper's innings ended for eight.

Jerome Taylor was unbowed, and came out after lunch playing his strokes, one in particular, a straight drive down the ground off of Mitchell Johnson rousing the crowd. Next ball Johnson got his revenge, Taylor nicking to Brad Haddin for a Test-best of 31 which contained six boundaries.

Chattergoon received a fine reception on making his way to the crease - after injuring his ankle fielding earlier in the match, he was not expected to bat as he and Sulieman Benn set about the mountainous task of either saving or winning the game for the home side.

The pair got the runs required down to 100 with Benn enjoying the better of a battle with Clark before Chattergoon drove wildly at a Brett Lee delivery and edged to Haddin having made 13 from 14 deliveries.

Benn never looked comfortable against Casson and eventually offered a simple catch to Mike Hussey and he departed for 13 also.

Number ten Daren Powell decided he would protect number 11 Fidel Edwards, which brought some late entertainment to proceedings before he was caught by Ramdin off of Lee for six, leaving Edwards unbeaten on five.

Clark took three for 58 and Casson three for 86 as Australia sealed victory well before tea on the final day.

Australia declared their second innings on 439 for five after the West Indies were bowled out for 216 in reply to Australia's 251.

John Pennington
© Cricket World 2008

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