ROSEAU, Dominica – Australia won the third and final Test against West Indies by 75 runs Friday to secure a 2-0 series victory despite a valiant second-innings effort from the home side.
Set a daunting target of 370, West Indies resumed on 173 for five and was bowled out for 294 shortly before lunch on the fifth and final day.
Australia captain Michael Clarke finished with five wickets for only the second time in his Test career while counterpart Darren Sammy scored a lively 61, his best Test score.
The chase ended when Sammy top-edged Nathan Lyon, as he tried to sweep the spinner, and Ben Hilfenhaus pocketed the catch to prompt celebrations from the tourists.
The Dominican crowd appreciated a good and entertaining effort by the West Indian tail with local favorite Shane Shillingford making a Test-best 31 not out in a 49-run last wicket stand with Sammy.
The target always looked too much for West Indies on a pitch that offered turn and bounce for the spinners but West Indies may wonder what might have been had Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo survived the final session Thursday.
Their 110-run partnership for the fourth wicket offered a glimmer of hope to the hosts but Australia never really looked like letting slip its grip on the series.
“It’s been a wonderful series, a really hard-fought series from both teams and I hope West Indies get a lot of credit for the way they played,” said Clarke. “I think it’s been great for test cricket.
“Our challenge has been to try and get better every day and to work really hard on our consistency. I think as a team we’ve done that.”
A first-innings century from Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade proved decisive, the tail-end resistance he led taking the total from 169 for seven to 328 all out.
As in the victory in the first Test in Barbados it was the ability of Australia’s lower order to make key contributions that was the difference.
Clarke’s contribution with the ball on the last two days was a further reminder that while Australia may not have the world-class lineup of a few years ago, it still bat deep and has plenty of bowling options.
A fourth-innings total of 294 on a surface tough to score on was a good effort and with Sammy’s strokeplay giving a supportive crowd something to cheer, West Indies at least lost in the right manner. — Reuters