Heroic Sammy Half-Century In Vain As Series Tied
Australia 281-9 (Warner 69, Watson 66) beat
West Indies 251 (Sammy 84) by 30 runs
Fifth One-Day International, Saint Lucia
Darren Sammy equalled his own record for the fastest One-day International half-century by a West Indian before his side went down by 30 runs in the fifth and final match against Australia in Saint Lucia.
Sammy, the last man to fall, struck 84 in 50 balls as the West Indies were bowled out for 251 chasing 282 for victory, meaning the series was tied at 2-2.
He had come to the crease with the game seemingly beyond the home team but blasted six four and six sixes, adding 101 runs in 59 balls with Andre Russell; the pair put on 60 in the batting power play.
In the end, however, he had, thanks to a top-order collapse, been left with too much to do and he was moved to tears following his side's inability to take a rare series win over the tourists.
Russell hit 41 in 33 balls while Adrian Barath had begun the West Indies' recovery from 37 for three with an innings of 42 in 74 balls although when he fell they were 76 for five.
After Carlton Baugh (13) and Kieron Pollard (33) also fell, the home side were 118 for seven and that the match went anywhere near to the wire owed a huge amount to Russell and Sammy's refusal to believe that they were out of it and an unusual flurry of full tosses offered up by Australia's bowlers.
Fortunately for them, half-centuries earlier in the day from David Warner (69), Shane Watson (66) and Peter Forrest (53) had set them up for a winning score of 282 for nine.
Flying along at 193 when the third wicket fell, Brett Lee was promoted to number five having hit a half-century in the fourth match but he could make just 12 and Australia's innings faded somewhat in the final 15 overs as the West Indies kept themselves in the game.
Russell took four for 61, Kemar Roach three for 53 and Sunil Narine two for 55 and although they were excellent with the ball, they were unable to back Sammy up with the bat when he badly needed somebody to stay with him to try to pull off what would have been a miraculous win.
Both sides fielded understrength sides due to a variety of factors during the series which made things highly unpredictable and a drawn series was a fair result.
The two Twenty20 Internationals that follow on 27th and 30th March will likely be just as hard to call.
© Cricket World 2012