Saturday, April 28, 2012
Sammy's hitting in vain as Australia complete 2-0 series win .
Australia 328 & 259 beat West Indies 218 & 294 (96.3 ov, Chanderpaul 69, Sammy 61, Clarke 5/86, Lyon 3/87) by 75 runs: T3/3 D5/5 at Dominica. Australia win series 2-0 and retain Frank Worrell Trophy.
Michael Clarke and Nathan Lyon worked their way through the remaining West Indies batters to give Australia a comfortable, though not emphatic, win in this Test and the series.
Once the third umpire decided, after much deliberation, that Clarke had caught and bowled Narsingh Deonarine for 13 the West Indies were 6/180, still less than halfway to their target on a pitch which was offering considerable bounce and turn to the spinners without ever being unplayable. Darren Sammy had other ideas and he played a go-down-with -all-guns-blazing innings of 61/51b (3x6, 4x4) which took his team close enough to Australia to make them lament the missed opportunities, especially of the top order batting.
I never expected the West Indies to be as competitive as they turned out to be (Australia 3-0 was my private prediction) so there was enough to keep me interested, though the time difference between the Caribbean and here persuaded me to follow much of the play via the daily 2-3 hours of Fox Sports highlights.
Australia, have since last September played 14 Tests, including series (or two match encounters) against Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, India and West Indies, and have moved up the world Test rankings to no 3, supplanting India.The team, or squad, despite some injuries and unanswered questions about the batting is looking in better shape than it did a year ago.
West Indies have to regroup and play England in three early season Tests. Most of the players will be match hardened, though how they'll adjust to the quick bowler friendly conditions in England after the spinning pitches of home is a moot point. They've chosen their squad , omitting Kraigg Brathwaite and Carlton Baugh from the eleven which played this Test. The selectors have also not considered Brendan Nash, who is playing county cricket with Kent and doing very well with the bat. He may not be in the same class (or quite as old) as the Player of the Series Shivnarine Chanderpaul , but he's been a solid performer in Tests until he lost form a year ago.
Less than three weeks to go (and slightly more congenial viewing hours).
Fox Sports report and link to video highlights